In the last decade, gastronomic education has experienced a boom without precedents. Once reserved for Vocational Training, the teachings on cooking, pastry, dining room and restaurant management have conquered the university; but they have also grown on a more informal plane, from courses on demand.

It is in this area where Scoolinary is located, a platform of courses on-line what do you want to achieve for the kitchen Domestika has achieved in the field of design and graphic arts. In just one year of life, Scoolinary has already published 160 courses, has more than 2000 subscribers and has raised one million euros in investment.

His founder, Jordi Ber, is a veteran entrepreneur, known for creating (and selling very well) the startup home repair Habitissimo.

Apparently, this platform – which puts users in contact with all kinds of professionals in masonry, plumbing or carpentry – has little to do with Scoolinary, but Ber assures that it was through it as detected the existing opportunity in the field of cooking training: “The sector [de las reparaciones] It is like the hospitality industry, it is very fragmented and lacks training ”.

Ber went to work with his team on the new project almost two years ago, but the pandemic sped things up. “Like many internet companies, people who could not work had more time to train, that benefited us,” acknowledges the founder of Scoolinary. “The other great positive consequence for us is that it was not necessary to explain the benefits of training on-line”.

Scoolinary founder and CEO Jordi Ber.

A platform with an academic vocation

In a type of activity such as cooking, which is eminently practical, face-to-face training seems necessary, but the truth is that, in sight, many things can be learned reading or through videos.

The contents are aimed at professionals (or amateurs with a good level)

The Internet is full of recipe pages and on Youtube there are people explaining how to cook anything, but the distinctiveness of Scoolinary, so it may be worth paying the 19.90 euros that the courses cost (or the subscription of 149.90 euros per year that gives access to all the content) is his clear academic vocation.

The contents are comprehensive and technical, and, although they can be used by amateur chefs –according to Ber, around 30% of the users are amateurs– seem more aimed at professionals.

“What we have tried to do is occupy a space that we thought did not exist,” explains the founder of Scoolinary. “The best way to train, of course, is to go to a VET School or university, but once you have done this, Scoolinary offers you the possibility of keep up to date and continue learning in a very flexible and economical way ”.

Scoolinary screenshot

Courses with renowned chefs

All the cooking courses in the Scoolinary catalog have a similar structure: a presentation video, four or five videos in which the recipes contained in the course are explained in detail, and a farewell video with the conclusions. The courses also include a cookbook in pdf, which is quite useful.

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A success of Scoolinary is to have recruited top-level teachers

The videos are educational, well produced and detailed. Of course, they are gastronomy classes, sometimes very technical, aimed at professionals or amateurs with a high level of cooking. They are not for those who are learning to make a gazpacho well.

A success of Scoolinary is to have recruited highly reputable teachers in the subjects of each course, which includes real gastronomic celebrities, to name a few, such as Mª José San Román, which has a course of rice dishes; Paco Roncero, which imparts one of tapas; or Jordi Roca, which stars in the ice cream course.

“We do courses with recognized, award-winning teachers, and world leaders in the subject of the course,” says Ber. “In cooking that sometimes happens because of having a Michelin star, but in confectionery there is no such thing. Our model is learn from the best, at the most affordable prices possible. And all the courses have the same price ”.

Scoolinary also has a good battery of courses –those, yes, aimed only at professionals– on management and marketing in hospitality. Courses on topics as specific as the implementation of delivery service, teambuilding in the room service or how to control scandals, to name just a few.

Rodrigo Calle

Chef Rodrigo de la Calle in one of Scoolinary’s courses.

A growing catalog

Last week Scoolinary announced the purchase of its Peruvian counterpart Kitchen Lab, which, says the company, makes it the largest platform for online courses in Spanish-speaking gastronomy and hospitality.

The 80 cooking courses of Cocina Labs will be added in the next few days to the 160 that Scoolinary already has, but Ber’s idea – and the main claim for subscribers – is to continue including a new course every week. Workshops will be added to these, in which greater interaction between teachers and students is sought.

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“The third wave of training on-line goes through guided courses “explains Ber. “We have three-week workshops in which you watch videos, have a challenge, upload the exercise … You have a teacher at your disposal and there are compulsory practices.”

In no case, explains Ber, Scoolinary seeks to replace conventional hospitality education, but he is convinced that the future of this type of teaching passes through hybrid models: “[La enseñanza online] It is here to stay and it is to complete the face-to-face training, which adds a value that it does not give, but has drawbacks: you are tied to a place, it is much more expensive and less flexible. If you are watching a master class from a teacher you cannot rewind or watch it at 1.5 speed. It has other advantages ”.

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