Here's the latest trend that's popping up in this tough economy: We all want to become gourmet chefs!Or at the very least, better cooks. We read about this on It turns out, interest in cooking had already been growing thanks in part to the appeal of reality cooking programs - like "Top Chef" - and all of the celebrity chefs who have been in the spotlight, like Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, and Gordon Ramsay. With the tough economy causing people to cut back on restaurant outings, the idea of cooking at home is becoming more and more popular. For example, enrollment has spiked at New York's Institute of Culinary Education. Although the courses can cost hundreds of dollars, Rick Smilow - the school's president - feels the investment pays off in the long run. After all, if you can learn to cook a great meal at home, you won't need to have dinner at a restaurant. It's not just cooking classes that are becoming popular: According to Nielsen BookScan, the number of cookbooks sold in the past year rose 9%. Cooking magazines are doing well, too. "Bon Appétit" magazine reports their circulation is at an all time high of 1.4 million. Food websites are also seeing more traffic and people are also investing in new kitchen tools. As an example, kitchen retailer Sur La Table says sales at its stores have risen almost 5% this year. In fact, the company recently sent an e-mail advertising a set of three pans priced at $24.99 - they usually cost $55 - and sold almost 600 sets in one day! Although people are cooking at home more often, they're not just whipping up a box of macaroni and cheese. People who are used to eating at restaurants still want to eat in style - so they're trying to cook gourmet meals. One person mentioned in the article took private cooking lessons, and is now making meals like turkey pot pie and chocolate soufflé!