This Start-up Is Helping Travelers Find Cooking Classes
Want to learn how to cook like a pro? Cookly is here to help. BY DIANA HUBBELL.
Published on Jul 27, 2016
"I'M REALLY A FOODIE and this all started when I wanted to book a class for myself while I was traveling," says Benjamin Ozsanay, cofounder and CEO of Cookly, a start-up hoping to change the way travelers seek out cooking classes. Although culinary schools are littered throughout Southeast Asia, booking usually requires a phone call, an email and a wait—hardly an efficient use of precious vacation time. He sat down with fellow traveler Etienne Marleau-Rancourt, now cofounder and COO, and the two began to hatch a plan. "We contacted five of the top schools with our idea. Within 24 hours, all of them wrote back with a positive reply," Ozsanay says. "We realized there was a gap to fill."
Grain by Luke Nguyen Cooking Studio, Saigon. Courtesy of Cookly.
The resulting streamlined platform, launched late 2015, makes it a breeze to find, compare and book cooking classes from more than 60 partner schools in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. So far, participants from 30 different countries and six continents have pounded up spice pastes at Bumbu Bali Cooking School, simmered pho at Hanoi Cooking Centre, and whipped up vegetarian Thai curries at May Kaidee. In the future, the team hopes to offer more varied experiences such as wine tastings and food tours everywhere from Japan to Australia.
"By digitalizing the whole process, we're hoping to make these kinds of activities more accessible for everyone," Ozsanay says. So you can spend a little less time mincing words and more time mincing herbs.