Great food without the restaurant? Try these culinary experiences

If you want to take in new culinary experiences but are feeling a little “done” with restaurants, On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has you covered.

At Flavours of Hope, immigrant women provide a meal and talk about their journey coming to Canada

Don't bother with the reservations: you won't need them with these culinary experiences. (Shutterstock / ne3p)

If you want to take in new culinary experiences but are feeling a little "done" with restaurants, On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson has you covered.

Johnson highlighted two new options in Vancouver that offer great food that can be enjoyed in different ways.

One, Flavours of Hope, puts on pop-up dinners to help immigrant and refugee women earn a living wage and share their culinary traditions.

At the dinners, the women provide a meal and talk about their journey coming to Canada.

"These are stories of resilience and hope. So these evenings are so much more than a meal," Johnson told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

The next pop-up dinner is coming up May 19, she said, at the YVR Prep Commissary Kitchen in Burnaby. Doors are at 6 pm and adult tickets are $50.

Angeles Canedo from Guadalajara, Mexico, will prepare a traditional feast that will include family recipes for pico de gallo, spot prawn empanadas, and ceviche dishes with sustainable seafood like ling cod and side-stripe shrimp.

The other culinary option Johnson highlighted is In My Kitchen, a new series of intimate cooking experiences headed by enthusiastic home cooks.

The evenings combine cooking classes with dinner for six guests per evening right in the host's own homes.

"The sessions are also immersive and hands-on. Think of it as going to a friends' place for dinner," Johnson said.

"Chances are you end up helping out in the kitchen before everyone sits down to dinner together. It's the same idea here."

In My Kitchen has a roster of four home cooks who have a deep knowledge of the food and culture of Japan, Switzerland, the Middle East and Spain.

The next In My Kitchen evenings are on May 26 and 27.

And don't worry, Johnson said: all of the home chefs have been trained to meet industry standards for food health and safety.

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast