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Online food experiences have allowed restaurants and chefs to provide people with authentic food experiences from around the world from the comfort of their own homes.

Of course, an online food experience such as a cooking class or a bakery class is different from going to an in-person event. As such, there are other things you should consider, such as how you're going to watch the event and what supplies you need. In this article, we explore the steps you should take to have the most authentic and enjoyable online food experience possible.

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What are online food experiences?

Online food experiences are food tourism's answer to the pandemic. They have allowed restaurants and chefs to continue working from the comfort of their own homes.

While online food experiences have been around since before COVID-19, the demand for them grew as people were forced to spend more time at home.

Although at the time of writing this, social distancing restrictions have been eased in England, virtual food experiences continue to make waves in the food tourism industry.

They have become popular team-building exercises for organisations still working remotely. They’re also a good alternative for those that want to travel and experience authentic food from a particular country, but don’t yet feel comfortable going abroad.

How to enjoy an authentic food experience online

When participating in an online food experience, there are several steps you should take prior to and during the event for it to be the most authentic and enjoyable experience possible:

Decide what type of online food experience you want

There is a myriad of online food experiences available to you, so it's important to decide what type of experience you want. That way, you can find an event suited to your tastes (and taste buds!).

From authentic Italian food to a Tunisian feast, there is a lot of experiences on offer. Alternatively, if you want an online food experience that's closer to home, why not try an online baking class?

Not only do you need to decide the type of virtual food experience you want, but you should also consider the format that it is presented in.

Obviously, virtual food events will be hosted online, but the way they’re carried out will differ.

Some virtual food events are run in a webinar-style where the host will deliver the experience to a group of people in a virtual room. Participants will be able to ask the host questions but for the most part, the experience will be presented as a demonstration.

Workshops are more interactive and may even include breakout rooms with other guests. This would be a good option for teams looking for a unique team-building experience.

There are also private online food experiences for those wanting a more intimate experience. This would be a good date idea, especially for partners that have been living together during lockdown and want to try something new.

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Plan and prepare

Once you’ve booked your online food experience, it’s crucial you plan and prepare what you need ahead of time.

If you’re doing a cooking class, ensure that you have the ingredients according to the recipe if the host of the event doesn’t already supply them to their guests.

This is especially important if you’re cooking an exotic dish with ingredients that you might not be able to find so easily in your local area.

If you can’t get the exact ingredients, do your research, and look for suitable alternatives that are easier to find and that will still give you an authentic result.

You should also know the equipment you need and have it nearby when the event starts. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the experience without having to run around the kitchen looking for equipment. You should also have the recipe at hand if it’s a cooking class so you can easily follow along.

Aside from supplies and equipment, you need to plan for the event itself. You need to know:

  • What time the event starts
  • How long it lasts (so there are no interruptions on your part)
  • What is the event link is and where to find it

You also need to prepare your setup. Ensure that you have a device you can watch the event on and decide where you're going to watch it from. Make sure that this location is comfortable for you and within reach of any equipment or supplies you need.

Finally, make sure that your tech is ready and working. If you’ve chosen a virtual food experience that requires interaction from guests, ensure your microphone is working so you can speak.

Likewise, if you want to be on camera, have a good background with natural light and make sure that you are in the shot of the camera.

If you want to add to the ambience, why not get some candles or wines associated with the country or region the dish you made is from. This is another way to add to the authenticity of the experience.

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An online food experience should be enjoyable, not a stressful experience. If you’ve taken the previously recommended steps, then it should be much easier to relax.

If, however, you’re feeling anxious about the social element that can come with virtual food experiences, try to remember that other guests are likely feeling the same way.

Also, the host of the event will be aware the guests are probably feeling like this, and if it's an experience that requires participation, the host will have thought of ways to ease the guests into the event.

If you’re passionate about cooking but are nervous about making a new dish in front of others, the previous steps should have minimized any possibilities of a cooking disaster.

Having said that, it's important not to take things too seriously as this can lead to unnecessary pressure on yourself. It doesn't necessarily matter that your dish doesn't turn out perfectly, it matters that you enjoy the experience.


Interacting and putting yourself out there, especially if you don’t know the other guests at the event can be daunting, but sometimes interaction is the best way to enjoy an experience.

If you have questions about the dish you’re making, don’t be afraid to ask the event host what you want to know. Asking the host a question might even prompt them to share some extra tips on how to prepare the dish so it tastes as authentic as possible.

Likewise, if the host asks the participants questions, don’t hesitate to join in the overall discussion throughout the event.

Book an authentic online food and drink experience

tabl. is more than a simple marketplace. We are experts in food and drink tourism. If you're inspired to book an authentic cooking class or online food and drink experience, browse our website for a range of exciting virtual experiences.

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