Once you get over being jealous of everyone you know vacationing in a tropical place this Spring Break, try spending your time with the best Spring Break buddy— food! It's not just about cooking and eating; there are so many fun things to do to learn about food, from listening to podcasts about chefs to visiting an ethnic grocery store. The possibilities are endless, so get ready for a fun-filled week in the best room in your house: the kitchen! 

1. Listen to podcasts all about food

From listening to how your favorite food brand started (NPR How I Built ThisWhole Foods and Larabar) to women killing it in the food industry (Radio Cherry Bombe), you could honestly spend your entire week listening to food podcasts. Podcasts are perfect for when you want to be productive while doing nothing. Listen while you make breakfast, walk your dog, or sit on the couch. Here are a few food podcasts to start listening to now: Bon Appetit Foodcast, Food52 Burnt Toast, Inside Trader Joe's Podcast, Spilled Milk Podcast, and Bite

2. Watch new food shows on Netflix

There are so many amazing new Netflix specials about food, and what's more perfect than relaxing on your couch with a long list of shows to watch? From cooking competitions to beautiful international adventures, there is so much to choose from. Root for your favorite British baker in the Great British Baking Show, absorb the amazing stories of chefs on Chef’s Table, or fall in love with Samin Nosrat in her Netflix special, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.

3. Search Instagram for food blogs

Following new Instagram accounts and reading new food blogs definitely is key for stirring up some cooking inspiration. Instagram can be a black hole, but following new and inspirational accounts never hurt anyone! Fill your feed with beautiful images of food to spark your hunger. Some of my favorite Instagram accounts are: @rachaelsgoodeats , @food52, and @healthy_ish

4. Master a new cooking technique

Marley Schwartz

Master the skill of sourdough bread baking, whip up an array of French macarons, make your own pasta, or hone in on your knife skills! You have time to experiment and find out what type of cooking you enjoy the most. Not only will you learn what you really love to cook, but you will be able to develop and broaden your kitchen skills.

5. Travel to a new country for the day by shopping at a new supermarket

Shopping at the same grocery store can get boring real quick. Take this free time to explore a new supermarket and buy some foods you've never tried before! There are so many stores selling food from different cultures. From Asian supermarkets to Eastern European or Indian markets, you can really make it a whole day trip. Some even have food courts in them with specialty foods, such as the Japanese store, Mitsuwa. Another great international supermarket is H Mart, which sells Korean products at multiple locations in the U.S. There are also an array of independently owned ethnic supermarkets in every state, so you are bound to find one!

6. Recreate your favorite restaurant meals from the comfort of your own kitchen

Not only will they cost you a fraction of the bill if you went to the restaurant, but they will most likely be healthier, too! A win-win in my book. Try your hand at recreating numerous restaurant recipes from places like Panera, Momofuku Milk Bar, Chick-Fil-a, Chipotle, and more.  

7. Explore a kitchenware store 

There are so many interesting kitchen tools out there, such as a spiralizer, oil spritzer, personal milk frother, donut pan, or even a pasta maker! Treat yourself to a new kitchen toy and go home and try it out for yourself.

8. Make a recipe book

Take some time to compile both new and old recipes you want to cook in your very own color-coded book! Bonus points if they are recipes you mastered over break.

9. Pretend to be on a cooking competition show

Have a cooking competition with your friends or family, just like Chopped or the Great British Baking Show! Show your loved ones what you've mastered after spending your week in the kitchen.

10. Have a tropical feast

vegetable, salad, rice, pepper, cucumber
Angela Pizzimenti

Make yourself feel like you are in a tropical place (like everyone on your Instagram feed) with a homemade tropical meal. Start off with some Pina Coladas, then treat yourself to a Hawaiian-inspired Poke Bowl, and finish it all off with some tropical mango lassi popsicles!

It might seem like everyone you know is on a vacation, but the key to everyone’s heart is food. If you find yourself sitting in your kitchen this Spring Break with chef's-block, these activities are a great place to start!