Forget eating out. If you’d like to pick up some serious kitchen skills, consider a cooking class from The Viking Cooking School. The popular culinary academy is licensed through the Viking Range company, which supplies many of the high-quality ranges and ovens used in commercial kitchens throughout the world. In the classroom, students can work through a number of levels, from basic skills and recipe creation to more advanced techniques and hands-on sessions with instructors. The learning kitchen is large and modern, with steel Viking appliances and a large table for gathering to share creations, swap tips or get in close for a demonstration. Whether you’re a novice home cook or a professional chef looking for some new ideas, there are classes that can give your culinary efforts an extra kick at The Viking Cooking School.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette, safety, table setting, proper food handling, and more in youngsters who are growing up in a world full of laser can openers and pasta rakes. Classes vary at each location and educate a variety of age groups—with specially catered classes for the kindergarten elite (ages 3–5) and junior line cooks (around ages 6–11)—about basic food-prep skills for nutritional meals. Senior flambéists (teens and tweens) are offered advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity. Check out the respective schedules for North Druid Hills, Sandy Springs, and Duluth to see what appeals to you.
The resident chefs at The Cooking School at Irwin Street model their teaching style after that of the quirky, patient Julia Child as they walk kitchen cadets through the basics of food transmogrification with a collection of helpful and laughter-filled classes held in two distinctive locations. Tucked away in the historic Old Fourth Ward, the indoor kitchen lets students loose on modern appliances amid appetite-kindling hues of pumpkin and avocado. The newly unveiled farm kitchen, meanwhile, incorporates vine-fresh produce and just-picked herbs from the surrounding soil in recipes prepared under the open sky. In both of these settings, the instructors pare cooking down to the essentials—an open mind, an eager palate, and a sharp, non-argumentative knife. Classes cater to a number of dietary restrictions, from creative vegan options and gluten-free baking lessons to smoked-meat sessions for inveterate salamivores. Most classes are BYOB, and some sessions are open to parent-child combos.
The chefs at Bradford's on Bishop serve up instruction in essential kitchen skills such as basic knife work, cooking techniques, and food handling in seven eclectic cooking classes. Armed with a spread of seasonal ingredients, students can choose to learn the home-cooking secrets of one of several exotic cuisines, including French, modern Thai, and Capoeira. The Girls Night Out class teaches culinary pupils how to whip up more indulgent fare, and Knife Skills slices through an array of different cutting techniques. All classes at Bradford's on Bishop commence with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, allowing students to discuss current cooking topics such as the nutritional differences between a double cheeseburger and the McDouble. A presenting chef then narrates the evening's entrees before the congregation is split into groups of ten, with each group completing multiple dishes under the tutelage of their own chef. Complimentary cocktails are included, and students are encouraged to bring their favorite beverage.
When discussing Nigerian cooking with reporters from Atlanta Goodlife Magazine, Kunmi Oluleye beamed, "it's something that I do blindfolded." After all, Kunmi has been cooking since the age of 8, whipping up meals for her parents and three younger siblings and baking traditional breads, meat pies, and sausage rolls at her father's bakery in Lagos, Nigeria. Today, she brings her time-honored family recipes and lifetime of expertise to her own catering company—Sheba Foods.
Aided by a staff of African chefs, Kunmi folds traditional spices into authentic dishes from the continent. Deep in the Sheba kitchen, the chefs simmer meaty stews and fry plantains while plump sausage rolls rise in the oven. They deliver the fresh, dried, and prepared foods to homes around the world and cater freshly made feasts at local special events and parties. Their products have been in the shelves of mainstream supermarkets for years, and they continue to expand into new markets and grow from the branches of lunchbox trees around the country.