Dearborn woman hosts cooking classes for children, adults

Photo courtesy of Zeinab Shami. Reann Berro (left), 10, and Layla Chaaban, 8, prep lettuce for a salad during a recent children’s cooking class held at Zeinab Shami’s house.

Photo courtesy of Zeinab Shami. Reann Berro (left), 10, and Layla Chaaban, 8, prep lettuce for a salad during a recent children’s cooking class held at Zeinab Shami’s house.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — For one local woman, cooking for her family just wasn’t enough. She wanted to share her recipes with everyone who was willing to learn.

Full-time mom and part-time chef Zeinab Shami, 30, began offering cooking classes to adults, teenagers and children earlier this summer.

“There is a very high demand for my recipes,” she said. “Since I don’t measure when I cook, it was really challenging to share my recipes on paper. I decided I would rather teach hands-on and allow my fans to gain experience first-hand.”

Another way Shami shares her fresh, fun and creative recipes is through social media using Instagram and Facebook since 2012.

“I always loved taking beautiful pictures of nature and people — only to find that food was even more beautiful to capture,” she said. “I knew that sharing my interest would inspire others to get into their kitchens and to cook creative meals for their family and friends.”
Shami gives credit to her cooking interest to her husband, Shadi Shami.

“It’s true what they say, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,'” she said. “My husband is my biggest fan and I discovered my hidden passion for cooking through him.”

Cooking classes take place at Shami’s house in her kitchen. She said a workshop with the possibility of a public location is in the future.

“My favorite part about cooking is the creativity involved,” she said. “Sometimes I walk into my kitchen without a clue about what I’m about to make so I just gather a bunch of different ingredients and always finish with a masterpiece.”

Shami teaches children and teenagers how to cook fun and creative meals that are easy to replicate at home. Those dishes include pizza cones, pasta, Mexican dishes, cupcakes, cookies and other desserts.

For adults, Shami offers a variety of family-friendly meals, including Middle Eastern, Italian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese cuisines.

Children 6 to 12 years old, teenagers 13 to 17 and adults 18 and up may sign up for a cooking class with Shami. The cost for children ranges from $20 to $40, teenagers $30 to $50 and adults $30 to $75 per class depending on the theme, ingredients, recipe and time length.

“The best part about the cooking classes is watching others get just as excited as I get in the kitchen,” Shami said. “It’s a therapeutic experience that I wish everyone could experience, so seeing my students get excited is what I love.”

Shami will offer classes throughout the school year on some weekends and school vacations while the children are off school.

She also offers couples cooking classes, parent and children cooking classes and a program for children’s birthday parties in her personal kitchen and workshop.

“The cooking classes allow my students to socialize with other foodies where they learn, share, laugh and build great memories,” she said. “This makes me happy.”

Shami’s website, will be up and running soon and will include a class schedule and photos of previous classes.

Anyone interested in signing up for a class or private lessons can email Shami at

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at