Get the most out of your property by teaching courses in your kitchen or living room
People with skills to share are turning teacher in their spare time, running courses in their kitchens and living rooms to inspire others
For most of us, weekends are a time to spend recovering from the weekday grind. To hit the snooze button a few more times. Or not set the alarm at all. We’ll mooch around over breakfast, think about tackling the jobs there’s no time to do during the week or organise activities to try and entertain/exhaust the kids. But there are others who shed their work identities and adopt the metaphorical mortar board and gown of the teacher, welcome strangers into their home and set about passing on knowledge to others. And often this expertise has nothing to do with what occupies them in the 9-5, but is a surprising talent or skill they want others to learn.
‘I love sharing something I know with someone who wants to learn, teaching them how to make it the best,’ says Maud Feldmann of Mauderne.com, who spends Saturdays in her kitchen, introducing around half a dozen people to the art of making macarons – the bite-sized colourful French confections made up of meringue biscuits sandwiched together with ganache or jam. ‘I enjoy making something that’s complex accessible to anyone that wants to do it. Macarons can be super tough to make and managing to get anyone to do them makes me happy,’ she adds.
Maud is not alone in her enthusiasm for throwing open her home for others to come and learn something new. Sites like craftcourses.com, Etsy and Airbnb Experiences reveal weekend artisans, makers and craftspeople who are only too keen to pass on the secrets of how to make the perfect Chinese bao (bun), weave their own wall hanging or custom a fascinator over afternoon tea. All they need is a skill to share, confidence in their ability to teach it and sufficient space in their kitchen or home for pupils to learn (though they’ll also need to consult their local council about issues that arise from running a business from home, including things like business rates, insurance and possibly a food hygiene certificate).
In Maud’s case, she spends Monday to Friday helping companies go through digital transformations. On Saturdays, she shares the techniques she learned making cakes, pies and biscuits with her grandmother and mother as a child growing up in Strasbourg, France. She has been running the classes for six months, promoted through Airbnb Experiences and via her own website, welcoming groups from round the UK and tourists anxious to take away a new talent (and some macarons) from their visit to London.
When she set up a cooking school in her kitchen, she was keen that it should be a homefrom-home experience, so that her pupils would be confident they could reproduce what they’d made under her watchful eye with their own equipment. ‘There’s no pressure – I want it to feel comfortable. I have a terrace and in the summer I created a kind of tropical area where they can have tea outside. Or they can relax on the sofa.’ She has plans to introduce an eclair-making course next year. And while the classes have been a success, it’s the fact she could run them while working that encouraged her to start.
‘I enjoy the fact that my day job allows me to have this hobby without taking any risk,’ she explains. ‘Of course I am always looking for opportunities, but for the time being I will keep it like that, pursuing my hobby on Saturdays. I didn’t have any expectations when I started because it is really a passion
I wanted to share with people.’