Whether you are an expat looking for ways to expand your social circles or a local wanting an activity that includes trying something new, Socialcooking.no is the concept for you. This is a new option for socialising that was launched on the 19th of January in the Stavanger region and has been a success so far!
How did I get involved?
I first found out about the concept when I saw a post where they were recruiting chefs or teachers to plan a meal that they would like to teach during one of the events. I thought: Cooking and meeting people, love it! I was eager to share a bit of my country with all interested and of course, grab this opportunity to meet some new people living in the Stavanger region.
What and why?
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tamara Kuklina, founder of Socialcooking.no and get some more details about her new business. Tamara is from Novosibirsk in Russia. She came to Norway in 2007, and after some years working in the oil industry she decided to change her focus, and find a way to bring happiness to other people's lives.
For her the concept of SocialCooking.no is based solely in the idea of creating an arena to meet and socialize around the kitchen table, learn about foreign and local cuisines and techniques, get inspired, as well as to spend some time in a cozy atmosphere. For Tamara “The social part is as important as the cooking part.”
How does it work?
As many expats know it is not easy to get to communicate with or get in touch with locals and also expats in Norway. This concept allows singles to meet singles, parents can share their experiences, vegans can get inspiration, it entails organizing events for associations as a way of offering some incentives to their members, you name it. There have been 400 events so far and the themes are always exciting and varied.
Where is all this happening?
Events are held several times a week, venues vary, such as Kitchen in the co-working spaces of Mess & Order, Erfjordgata 8, Absinthen, Jakob's brød. From the end of May venues will be Traktoren kitchen shop in Magasin Blaa which is centrally located with easy access.
How do people find out about the concept?
Word-of-mouth marketing is making this concept quite popular in the region. Tamara says that she has had people from Trondheim, Oslo and Bergen asking when it is going to be expanded to their cities. There is a need for Norwegians and expats to meet in an informal, relaxed and affordable scenario like this.
What do people think about it?
“We were all happy about the structure as well as the content of the course. We enjoyed the social part, the venue and the structure,” says one happy participant.
“A lot of people love it so much that they keep coming back for more and they bring friends and family with them. Courses are not gourmet, the ingredients are based on local produce so they are easy to repeat and most participants enjoy making them at home.” – Tamara
“Social cooking has been a really fun way to integrate myself into the Stavanger community. Every time I go, I meet people from all walks of life, people whom I might not have met otherwise. In addition, in a city like Stavanger where it's very expensive to eat out, it's both fun and practical to learn how to make different types of foods.”
“I also find that I learn a lot about where to buy specific ingredients that I might be looking for,” says loyal and frequent participant Laura Babka.