Cooking a nice meal is one of those things that most people find to be a huge hassle, but it doesn’t have to be! Cooking classes take this chore and make it fun and interactive, while teaching you all new techniques and recipes to add to your food repertoire.
It doesn’t matter if you’re by yourself, with some friends, or training for your Chopped audition, there are an endless amount of classes available to you in Montreal. We’ve compiled for you a list of 8 places that you can go to get your cooking on.
What: Hands on classes led by professional chefs. Learn to make classic French dishes like beef flank and tart tatin, fancy tapas, the perfect brunch, and even how to do gourmet in a hurry. The best part: you get to sit down in their dining room and eat the meal you’ve made. Classes include wine so you must be 18 or over to participate.
When: Multiple classes offered every day of the week at varying times. Check their website for details.
What: Offers private, semi-private or group classes for special occasions, as well as monthly scheduled cooking classes for all levels. The price of the class includes generous tastings of all the food you’ve made, as well as all of the recipes for you to take home.
What: Offers several different classes from cooking basics for the beginner, to the art of middle eastern cuisine. Child, teen, and parent and child classes are all offered. Currently they have Christmas themed classes available to get you up to speed on holiday cooking.
When: Classes are held on varying days of the week. Check out their website for the full schedule.
What: Each class, taught by chef Jonathan Cheung, is based off of a particular cook book. He demonstrates how to make several dishes from the book, so if you want to learn how to make Jamie Oliver’s comfort food, then this is the place to go. You also get a discount on the book, if you decide to purchase it. Make sure to sign up early because these classes sell out quickly.
When: Classes are 2-3 times a week (varying days) at 6:30 pm
What: These cooking classes for singles are looking to introduce you to new food and new people. Each class last 4 hours (2 hours of cooking, 2 hours of dining/mingling) with 15-20 other people. At the end of the night you can go home with some awesome recipes and hopefully a few phone numbers.
When: 7:00 pm, generally from Monday to Thursday, depending on availability of the chefs.
What: This class is all about working in the kitchen in a team-oriented and friendly environment. Classes are divided into smaller groups, with each group working on one part of the meal, which is made up of a contemporary fusion menu. At the end, you get to sit down and enjoy the food. Private in-home classes are also available.
What: Led by chef Michael Minorgan, these 2 hour classes cover a wide range of culinary delights from Cajun & Creole to Vietnamese cuisine. And if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to smoke your own meat, they can teach you that too.
When: Varying dates/times. Refer to their Facebook page for details on upcoming events.
While there are a million and one ways to get a workout in during the summer, some can feel rather tedious. But after going to b.cycle's new pop-up rooftop gym, I can easily say that the spinning classes offered there are far from boring.
Not only did I get a sick workout in just 45 minutes, but I also got to see some cool views of the city from the top of Centre Rockland.
Five months later, McGill has issued one statement and launched three investigations. But the accusers — who asked to be called "the girls" to protect their safety — told MTL Blog they've been left in the dark.
They said they received no updates on how investigations are progressing or whether the accused is facing any penalties.
Meanwhile, they said the student has continued attending classes.
McGill has been following its protocol for investigations into allegations of sexual assault — but this protocol has left the girls and other students in limbo for the majority of the school year.
"We can't feel safe on campus with him lurking around, viewing us as prey," one of the girls, Eva*, told MTL Blog.
Most of the girls were minors at the time of the alleged assaults, as was the accused student, whose name has not been released by the university or the police.
Eva told MTL Blog the accused student frequented bars near McGill residences where he would "talk to, touch and kiss [girls] who were drunk," and that he would persistently "beg" female students to "hook up."
In written testimonies shared with MTL Blog, each of the girls outlined how the accused student sexually assaulted them both off and on campus.
One of them said the accused sexually assaulted her when she was "completely blacked out" from alcohol.
What was McGill's reaction?
McGill responded to the December petition within three days. A statement written by Deputy Provost of Student Life and Learning Fabrice Labeau assured the student body and the general public that McGill was "looking into the matter."
"Our foremost concern right now is student wellbeing," Labeau wrote. He expressed what he called a "steadfast commitment to a campus community where everyone feels safe."
Though none of the girls had formally reported their assaults to McGill at the time — something Eva said was because "the resources weren't publicized and the social consequences for reporting were immense" — that changed by the end of December.
Eva said one of the girls filed a police report, and three of the girls filed complaints with McGill, initiating three internal investigations. However, neither the police nor the university was able to confirm details of these investigations to MTL Blog.
A month later, the university had not issued any new statements nor updated the girls involved, Eva said.
MTL Blog asked Cynthia Lee, McGill's associate director of media relations, to confirm the status of the investigations in February. She said that according to McGill's Policy Against Sexual Violence, "when a formal report is made, the University must immediately appoint an external Special Investigator to conduct a full and impartial investigation."
She also said "the entirety of this process is covered by confidentiality regulations," and that she could not disclose any further information.
The silence surrounding the allegations began to disturb other McGill students who said they had to interact with the accused student in their classes.
Anna Ni told MTL Blog she attended an online psychology course with the accused student, where she said he would participate in group discussions while he was part of the ongoing investigations.
She said McGill's ambiguous response to the allegations made her feel "small and voiceless."
"I am grateful for the fact that McGill has resources that can help students struggling with this situation, but McGill's vagueness in their [statement] gave me the impression that they were not actively taking care of this situation," she said.
In a screenshot Ni took of her classmates discussing the accused student's presence in the course via group chat — which she shared with MTL Blog — one student asked, "I thought the school took care of this? Why is he still allowed to study?"
Amrita Kaur, a first-year student unaffiliated with the girls, told MTL Blog that McGill's communications to the student body following the incident — mainly emails consisting of links to support resources — felt "empty."
She emailed the Office of the Dean of Students to express her "extreme disappointment" in the school for allowing the accused student to attend classes "as if nothing ever happened."
"Now I wonder if it's true [...] all great institutions sweep sexual assault under the rug," she wrote in her email to McGill, which she forwarded to MTL Blog.
She said she did not receive a response from the university.
Lee told MTL Blog that at McGill, until an investigation is complete, "disciplinary actions cannot be taken pre-emptively […] however, interim measures are put in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those directly affected."
Possible accommodations include late withdrawal from a course or a change in residence — but they only apply to survivors.
MTL Blog found that according to the Policy against Sexual Violence, the university can take pre-emptive disciplinary action if "there may be a risk of harm to any Member of the University Community."
MTL Blog asked Lee if the fact that the accused student was still attending classes meant that the university did not see him as posing a threat to university community members.
She did not directly respond to the question.
What is the 'Code of Silence'?
There is a legal reason why the university claims it is limited regarding what it can divulge about sexual assault investigations.
Brooklyn Frizzle, vice-president of the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU), told MTL Blog they believe universities use this law as a "scapegoat" to justify a lack of transparency in cases of sexual violence.
Frizzle said this wasn't the first time students' questions about a case involving sexual misconduct were left unanswered.
"I've lost track of how many emails to the Dean of Students or to the Provost that I've seen, to which there was no response because the university can't legally give a response," they said.
Last year, representatives from l'Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) started a petition to amend the Act so post-secondary institutions could "inform victims of the disciplinary measures taken against their aggressors."
"Evidence shows that [the Act] contributes to victims' lack of trust in institutional channels, since it keeps the person most affected by the complaint from accessing crucial information for their healing process and to their sense of safety at school and/or work," the petition read.
McGill's Policy states that all investigations should be conducted within 90 days. According to this timeline, the girls' investigations should have ended by April.
But even when the investigations are complete, the Code of Silence means the girls cannot be informed of the penalties that may or may not be imposed on the accused student.
As Lee told MTL Blog, "details or updates concerning particular cases cannot be provided to anyone outside those immediately involved."
This means other students won't know if they can expect to see the accused student in their classes again next semester.
Could the 'Code of Silence' change?
While the public may never know if and how the accused student has been disciplined, McGill's Annual Report on the Policy against Sexual Violence gives some indication of the number of investigations the school has conducted.
McGill provided MTL Blog with a copy of the Annual Report, which specifies that, in 2020, eight of nine completed investigations yielding "a finding of sexual violence" resulted in disciplinary action.
These actions included "admonishment and conduct probation, formal reprimand [and/or] cease and desist communication and contact orders," but it's unclear which actions applied to which investigations.
Out of 18 incidents of sexual violence reported to the university in 2020, 83% were submitted by women. Just one report was submitted by a man, while two were submitted anonymously.
In May, a National Assembly committee presented its findings on possibly amending Bill 64. However, whether the amendments pass remains to be seen. For now, those involved can only know that the investigations are finished.
A 2016 Université Laval study found that 36.9% of Quebec students, faculty and staff experienced some form of sexual violence by another person affiliated with their university.
"It feels constant, like there's [always] some big allegation of sexual violence that we're talking about that we're trying to pressure the university to respond to," Frizzle said.
"It's just the name [that] changes every semester."
*The source's name has been changed at their request to protect their safety.
With files from Ilana Belfer, MTL Blog.
If you require resources or assistance surrounding sexual assault in Quebec, the CAVAC helpline is available 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-532-2822. Other crisis lines and 24/7 options can be found at The Lifeline Canada.
The classes are broken up into beginner, intermediate, and expert, so it's truly made for anyone.
MTL Blog got the chance to get to know more about this studio that Dave Elkabas and Kara Gomes have created.
You can read our interview with Dave below.
Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.
What's the LVL UP experience like?
We provide the nightclub atmosphere when you're working out. We have amazing LED lights, a crazy sound system, it's very dark — it gives you the feeling that you're at a club, but you're working out.
This concept exists in the U.S., with a company called Rise Nation.
We want to focus on the idea of your mindset as opposed to your fitness. We want you to "level up," literally. We all have our rough times, so this is a place where you come to elevate above these issues.
What's a versaclimber?
At first, there's the challenge of creating a concept [like this] in Canada, but then [we also have] to teach people what a versaclimber is because no one knows what it is. It's new, it's unique, it doesn't exist in other gyms.
The versaclimber is an overall workout for your full body. You're using your arms, your legs, your back. It's good for both doing cardio and building muscle — the beauty is that this machine combines the two.
Within a 30 minute session, you're not only exercising your muscles, but you're building your cardio. You cut the time of a regular workout in half because you're doing two things at once.
On the machine, there's a gauge that can increase or decrease the resistance. So you can increase the resistance and go slow, but then you're working your muscles harder. You're using your whole body.
It's state of the art.
What type of classes will the gym be offering as of March 26 and how much are they?
"We want to have a communal approach. When the class is full and you have 10 versaclimbers in the studio, plus the instructor... Everyone is vibing off the other person's energy," Dave told MTL Blog.
As for the classes, "[There's] 25% off bundles off our website [at the moment], just use the promocode LVLUP25."
"You can hold onto the bundle and it doesn't go to waste."
Currently, the "class packages" are $130 for five classes, $245 for 10 classes, and $450 for 20 classes.
A single session costs $20 for new clients and $50 if you want to have a private class.
Italy is hands down one of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether it's the awe-inspiring architecture, stunning interior design, gourmet cuisine, elegant fashion or iconic automobiles, this European country is famous for being a worldwide trendsetter.
Since you can't safely travel there right now, why not transform your apartment into your favourite Italian vacation spot? Create your own little dolce vita.
A huge part of Italian living is the love of food, drink, and conversation coming together during the 5-8 p.m. pre-meal ritual. You can enhance the richness of the unique aperitivo experience from the comfort of home with the new Martini Fiero. This wine-based aperitif combines a refreshing blend of citrus and bittersweet orange with crisp white wines.
There are tons of fun ways to bring a little touch of Italy to your Montreal apartment.
Enjoy Cocktails Like A Venetian
Enjoy the "golden hour" as a Venetian would. Here's your chance to explore the heart of Italian living through great food, drinks, and conversation.
While the Spritz is a famously celebrated Venetian cocktail, that comes in many variations, Martini Fiero is the natural way to spritz and made with 100% natural ingredients. The Martini Fiero Spritz signature serve is a delicious way to transport you to the floating city.
Combine the ingredients and serve over ice in a balloon glass before garnishing with an orange slice. Who knew a drink could match the extravagance and glamour of a city where people go around in boats instead of cars?
Host A Virtual Neapolitan Cooking Class
Organizing a cooking session is even more entertaining when it involves Italian food. Start a group Zoom call and have some friends follow along with you, so everyone can enjoy a little taste of Italy. After all, coming together over good food is at the heart of Italian tradition, right beside this dish.
Pizza actually originated in Naples, so it's definitely a classic Neapolitan dish that absolutely embodies the warm, passionate spirit of its native city. To make the closest thing to real Neapolitan pizza, you're going to need:
1 ball of pizza dough
1/3 cup marinara sauce
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese (or about 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella)
2 basil leaves
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting the pizza peel
Once you've gathered your ingredients, have everyone follow this easy recipe so you can all dig in at the same time.
Give Your Kitchen Some Tuscan-Inspired Style
To transform your kitchen into a Tuscan dream, focus on old-world design. Stick to materials like wood, metal, stone, and fancy mouldings.
The colours that represent Tuscany come from nature, inspired by the brilliant hills of the region, which roll into the sea: yellows like the sun, greens like the sea, blues like the sky, reds like the earth. Choose your accents in these tones, as well as an embellished tile backsplash, and you'll nail the Tuscan vibe.
Once you've achieved the look, take in the beauty of your kitchen makeover with some savoury fettuntaand a glass of citrusy Martini Fiero.
Have An Amalfi Spa Day With Your Amiche
If you and your roomie deserve anything after a workday, it's to indulge in a luxurious Italian-inspired spa experience. Set up some snacks, mix up a drink, and treat yourself to Amalfi Coast-worthy levels of relaxation. And if you live alone, you can always invite your friend to do this virtually with you.
Call up your bestie, get your fluffiest robe on, throw your hair up in a bun, and slather on a clay facial mask. Head to your kitchen and whip up a delicious antipasto-style charcuterie board. Try some bruschetta, bocconcini, provolone, prosciutto, salami, artichoke hearts, mixed olives, and toasted focaccia.
Run yourself a warm foot bath, kick back, and catch up with a Martini Fiero and Tonic to complete the perfect girls' (and guys') night in. As your feet soak and the water fizzes from those soothing salts, you may even start hearing the cries of the seagulls and the humming of the distant waves as they release a fragrant mist into the air.
Combine the ingredients in a glass filled with ice, garnish with a slice of orange, and cheers to your friendship!
Spruce Up Your Living Space With A Florence-Style Renaissance Makeover
Borrowing some renaissance interior design ideas is a gorgeous, Florence-esque way to switch up your setting. Attaining this style involves the use of old furnishings such as antique furniture and accents.
Although you can't necessarily change the architecture of your apartment, you can still update your decor, which will tie everything together.
Objects made of special metals, ivory, and porcelain will give you an authentic look. Search for items like candelabras, carved boxes, vintage vases, and gold ornate frames to really pull this look off. For the final touch, include reproduction paintings or sculptures of the Renaissance masters to make your home feel organic.
Incorporate Sicilian Siesta Into Your Everyday Routine
Sicilian siesta, when museums, churches, and shops close midday, is all about unwinding and recharging. It's essentially an extra-long lunch break used to nap and relax during the hottest hours of the day.
Whenever possible, you should consider incorporating this into your own lifestyle. Siesta in Sicily is roughly between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., but you can choose whatever timeframe works for you. Try adding this to your weekend schedule and see the wonders it can do for you.
Use this time to reflect, read, eat some arancini, drink a zesty Martini Fiero Garibaldi, rest, and ultimately enjoy life's quiet moments.
Combine the ingredients and serve in a glass filled with ice before adding a slice of orange for garnish.
Turn Your Patio Into Positano Perfection
No matter the size of your balcony, there's always a little room for Italian comfort. The Amalfi Coast is all about heightening the senses, from beholding vibrant colours to breathing in captivating scents. The Italian palette is defined by shades and hues that emulate the luscious and dramatic natural landscape of this coastal region.
To give your patio a Positano moment in the winter, add brightness and warmth with thick red blankets and a mini heater to keep you cozy. Incorporate a garden of herbs like mint and rosemary, and definitely plant a little lemon tree for a touch of greenery later in the warmer months.
Use boldly coloured placemats and napkins while enjoying some focaccia with fresh tomato. Sit yourself down on weather-resistant materials such as rattan, while avoiding anything too modern.
Having an at-home date night can be special, especially when inspired by Verona, one of Italy's most romantic cities. This is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with your significant other.
Start the evening by making some mini pizzas with peppers and olives together. Throw on some Andrea Bocelli or Luciano Pavarotti to set the mood. Once you're done cooking and dancing in the kitchen, pick out a romantic film.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet took place in Verona, so it's only natural that you might choose this flick (preferably the iconic version starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes). End the night with a fresh and fruity Spagliato.
In a wine glass, add the Martini Fiero and Martini bitter. Fill the glass with ice and stir gently to dilute and chill. Top the cocktail with the Martini Prosecco and stir again, up and down this time, just to mix the ingredients. Garnish with orange zest OR a fresh orange slice in the glass.
A big part of transforming your apartment into an Italian vacation spot is more about setting the right ambiance rather than design elements. Great food, cocktails, and company (even through a video call) are the essence of Italian living.
With drinks like Martini Fiero, you can recreate Italian-style classics that will pair perfectly with aperitivo time and get conversation flowing! Life is much more exciting with a little taste of European culture.
To learn more about Martini Fiero, visit their website or find their products at your local SAQ.
Narcity does not condone the overconsumption of alcohol. If you are going to drink alcohol, please do so responsibly and only if you’re of legal age.