Vienna cooking classes with private dining let you dive into local life, make Viennese friends, and learn about Wiener habits and culture beyond the guide books. To show you what it’s like, I joined a cooking class at a local foodie’s home to prepare Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel.
Unlike apple strudel shows for tourists at Schonbrunn Palace this private cooking class and dining session rolled out typical Viennese Cuisine in a private home. Along with joint mixing, beating, kneading and baking our lovely Viennese hosts opened the doors to local lifestyle that few visitors will ever experience.
How to Bake Apple Strudel
Along with our hosts and two friends of theirs we gathered around the dining room table turned chef’s worktop in our white aprons: First we prepared our dessert – apple strudel, just like my mother did. Hostess Angelika and my daughter kneaded the dough and then carefully stretched the soft ball between their fingers until it became a thin rectangular sheet – a delicate exercise!
Meanwhile our host and I cut the apples and made them fragrant with cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice. Finally, we expertly rolled the strudel, brushed it with melted butter and sent it to bake. Altogether, the class included seven people and we were all happily busy.
Cooking Wiener Schnitzel
If apple strudel was fun team work, our group excelled even more preparing Wiener Schnitzel. We soon found the most dedicated Schnitzel beater in my son. Four of us each cut the Schnitzel on the sides, then coated them in flour, eggs and bread crumbs.
Definitely the most satisfying was frying the Schnitzels simultaneously in three sizzling pans.
What I loved about the whole concept of these cooking classes was the simple local experience. In fact, no trained food guide would be able to replicate that same informal exchange than a private individual.
Chatting about Vienna, food, children and everything that connected us was an integral part. In addition to recipes, tips and tricks we made individual contacts and felt we had truly arrived in Vienna.
I think whether you are a solo traveler, a couple or a group of friends, venturing beyond guide book attractions deeply enriches a travel experience.
It took me a while to master Austrian vanilla crescents (Vanillekipferl), and Linzer Augen. But they are such an important part of Austrian Christmas tradition, like Advent singing.
For December, some members of the local foodie group have arranged to bake the best Austrian Christmas cookies. They will do them in their private homes, together with individual travellers. There are a few set dates but don’t worry, you can always inquire about an individual class (use website link below).
Kosher Vienna Cooking Classes
If you are a member of the Jewish community you will likely know about kosher cooking. And you will likely have found out that the best chats all happen in the kitchen. In that case, cooking at a modern Jewish family’s home will be right up your street. During the kosher cooking classes you won’t only find out how Viennese cook their blintzes, hazilim, halushkes, egg salad, latkes and rugelach.
More than that, you will touch base with private Jewish life as it happens today in Vienna. By the way, if you’d rather just join in when dinner’s ready, that is fine, too. Each kosher cooking class is open for up to three attendees, but more dinner guests are welcome to join.
You can prepare a full menu, or just bake apple strudel or Christmas cookies. What all classes have in common is that you will always eat together with your hosts.
Essentially, the most popular classes are the Vienna Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce and Topfenknödel class (EUR 62 per person) and the three-course Wiener Schnitzel menu including apple strudel (EUR 120 per person). If you are interested in joining or arranging a small group or private cooking class, check out this website.