Many people learn better when they feel comfortable, which is why Cucina Bambini designed their workspace to resemble a family kitchen instead of a clinical wall of burners and ovens. Black-and-white tiles cover the walls behind rustic cabinets and ceramic spice vessels. Instructors work with ingredients atop a central island to share their passion for cooking with students of all ages. Children can learn about culture as well as cuisine in Around the World classes that focus on recipes for tandoori chicken or Chinese siu mai dumplings. Adults may mix fresh pasta dough and form fettuccine or ravioli by hand or learn how to prepare sushi rice and use it in fresh rolls or nigiri. During date-night classes, couples can bring in a bottle of wine to sip as they prepare a four-course dinner that they will eventually devour or smear across each other's faces.
Chowhound Cooking Classes is a one-woman culinary school run out of the home of Denise Ward, a worldly chef who lived throughout Europe and Asia, learning the regional dishes and blending them with her own Greek culinary roots. In the 3.5-hour Small Plates Santa Cruz class, students prepare a series of plates combining seasonal ingredients from local
Monterey Bay purveyors. Amid the sears and jeers, Denise provides chefs with samples of Santa Cruz Mountains, and also permits them to enjoy a BYO bottle imported from their own homes or gas-station marts. Past hands-on classes have prepped plates including roasted halibut with walnut crust and tomato-pepper compote, flourless chocolate cake, and other tasty edibles that can be enjoyed as appetizers or portioned as main courses.
Les Petit Chefs Academy immerses kids ages 5–16 in the world of culinary art and promotes healthy eating habits through hands-on cooking classes. Each 60- to 90-minute class of 8–10 students tosses young noggins chewy nuggets of information about kitchen terminology and etiquette while filling hands with whisks, pans, and a deep respect for fire. In Kinder Chefs classes, 5- and 6-year-olds whip up healthy grub while honing motor skills. Instructors make basic table manners fun and begin to help solve mysteries of the food pyramid, such as why a tomato is a fruit rather than a vegetable or a juicy red fish. Junior Chefs classes for children of the 7- to 10-year-old persuasion chart a course through lessons designed to help students become more nutritionally savvy, and Senior Chefs helps the 11- to 16-year-old crowd learn to independently assemble entire meals.
When pursuing a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris isn't going to fit into your schedule, there's Sour Flour, a school dedicated solely to the preparation of one of San Francisco's most iconic foods: sourdough. Held in the Mission at La Victoria Bakery, its workshops draw aspiring home bakers fascinated by the serendipitous product of the Bay Area's ambient yeasts. Of course, Sour Flour breads also pop up in baskets at dozens of S.F. restaurants, and can be bought at most markets. But there's nothing more fulfilling than learning to bake your own delicious flatbread, then taking a starter home as a nucleus for loaves of chewy sourdough and excellent pizzas, indefinitely.
CityVoters nominated Apron Strings for Best Cooking Classes in the 2010 Best of the Bay List. Nickelodeon Parents Connect featured Apron Strings, and five Yelpers give it a five-star average.
Parties That Cook® stages hands on cooking parties for corporate team building and private events in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Chicago and Portland.
The December 7 performance pays wordless tribute to veterans while ringing in the holidays, with performances by the Delta College Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble and the Stockton Concert Band and Wind Ensemble. Treat your ear canals to an onslaught of melodically spoken syllables at the December 8 choral event, which features the Delta singers, the Delta Vocal Jazz and the Concert Choir, and as special guests, the SJDC Guitar Ensemble. The choir concert will present Christmas carols and songs from around the world, such as the recently uncovered remix of "Sleigh Ride" discovered in an Egyptian pharaoh's tomb.in the general admission auditorium.
For more than 50 years, the cooks at Guadalajara Market & Bakery have been wrapping carne asada, rice, and beans in soft tortillas for their signature jumbo burritos and spreading tangy guacamole over crisp chicken flautas. Beneath red tile eaves and graceful archways designed to mimic the atmosphere of a Mexican village square, they plate tostadas de ceviche and sizzling fajitas with beef, chicken, and shrimp. From the full bar, servers tote margaritas and micheladas alongside domestic and imported brews, which go well with tortilla chips and cheese, just as a crime-fighting dog joins the one human who can understand him.
Casablanca Market brings its collection of leather ottomans, hand-painted tables, Berber pillows, intricate mirrors, Moroccan tea glasses and tagines as they arrive stateside straight from the hands of Moroccan artisans, many of whom learned their skills as a family tradition. Hand-painted chairs and hand-woven carpets enliven rooms with vibrant colors and boast unique designs, unlike template rugs sewn by unimaginative robots. Shoppers can further their knowledge of Moroccan culture by attending the shop's cooking classes, which feature traditional recipes and ingredients. The market follows fair-trade practices to ensure artisans receive good compensation for their work and have their pay in hand before their goods ship overseas.
Both kids and adults can learn the art of cake decoration within the walls of Sugar 'n Spice. During classes, they fill bags with buttercream icing and pipe flowers, ruffles, and letters on the tops of cakes and cupcakes. Grown-ups can even learn to bake cakes and cake pops for upcoming birthdays, weddings, or mortgage closings. Those wanting to practice their skills at home can pick up the necessary accoutrements at the on-site shop.
At In The Kitchen (ITK) Culinary, down-to-earth restaurant chefs introduce cooks of all ages and skill levels to new techniques and cuisine. They offer a wide variety of classes, teaching everything from gourmet sauce making to cupcake decorating to knife skills. Chef Scott Davis, whom youngsters affectionately call The Culinary Dude, has degrees in both culinary arts and early-childhood education, and he created the kids' cooking program for Whole Foods. He teaches kids aged 4–14 how to follow recipes, safely cut and peel vegetables, or roll and bake patty-cakes.
Students learn how to create meals in an elegant kitchen with a flat-panel TV with surround sound, a subzero fridge and freezer, two six-burner Wolf cooktops, and two Wolf double ovens. Clients can rent out this space for private parties or private cooking classes.
Tearing into a perfectly charred, sauce-covered rack of ribs satisfies the stomach, and the knowledge that you made them yourself feeds the soul. Students can do just that in classes held by the nonprofit organization California BBQ Association, which shares all of its proceeds with children’s charities throughout the state. The course catalogue includes beginner and advanced classes led by pit masters such as Ric Gilbert, an inductee to the association’s hall of fame, and Harry Soo, a contestant from the first season of TLC’s BBQ Pitmasters. Fees cover the equipment and food needed to prepare dishes, freeing students from having to stop at a barbecue-sauce river and fill up some water bottles on their way to class.
Chef Alyssa of Culinary Craftwork, a licensed and insured professional chef, acquired her passion for food as a youngster whose parents took her on travels around Europe, where they dined in Michelin-star restaurants. Her passion crystallized while she worked her way up to head chef through starred Manhattan restaurants, edging into kitchens with her short frame and tenacious attitude. Now she shares her 20 years of expertise during private in-home cooking classes as well as private dinner parties and small catered events. To help students become more adaptable to their kitchens, Alyssa's three- to four-hour classes focus on building improvising techniques rather than strictly following recipes, finally freeing cooks from 10-volume compendiums on how to, say, make coffee sweeter. Her classes revolve around preset or customized menus, and include the cost of food and Chef Alyssa's shopping, planning, and prep.
After two decades spent perfecting his secret barbecue recipes on friends and family, Ed opened Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ to bring his sauce-slathered brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis–style ribs to the masses. Today, the barbecue master piles plates high with eight styles of smoked and spiced meat, and his chefs fashion multicourse meals full of saucy barbecue, homestyle sides such as honey-jalapeño corn bread, and desserts including peach cobbler.
Meals can be enjoyed at home or onsite at get-togethers. The shop caters a full range of staples for private events, including whole-hog roasts, pintsize sides, and binding agreements to kiss the cook. When he's not cooking, Ed can be found teaching competition-level classes, where he spends five hours covering barbecue basics.
Signature Service: After-school care, enrichment, and tutoring
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Jonti-Craft GreenGuard furniture, Artistic Pursuits
Pro Tip: We recommend parents visit us before buying to ensure our program is a good fit for their child.