Growing up, Katie London helped her mother cook weekly meals for dining rooms full of friends and family, employing diverse recipes inherited from her Italian and Jewish grandparents. So when she decided to share her culinary skills with the world, she kept things in the family, enlisting her father, Jeff, a former CPA, to help her establish Katie's Cooking School. Staged in a classroom that mimics a home kitchen with its residential appliances and cabinets, Katie's classes for kids and adults emphasize practical skills and simple recipes that the students can recreate at home or in the kitchen section of the nearest Home Depot. The class schedule rotates on a monthly basis, adopting a new seasonal, geographic, or dietary theme each time. Past projects have included selections from around the world such as homemade pasta with meat sauce, Danish pancake balls, and moo shu chicken.
Founded in 1985, Epicurean gives choppers with any level of chops a hands-on—or a knives-on-and-hands-away— lesson, lead by trained instructors. During Cupcakes Couture III, students create stylish cupcakes, such as chocolate cherry cordial and strawberry with brown sugar crème fraiche icing. For clock-watchers or those trained in the fast-paced world of cup stacking competitions or speed chess, the menu of Jiffy Meals can all be prepared in less than 30 minutes. During the Sauces course, gravy un-clumps and au jus is finally translated (spoiler alert: it means "oh, you!"). Jesse Brune of Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills leads salad formations during Salad Daze and combines healthy edibles in Fit to Eat. Check out the full schedule of classes here.
Los Angeles Times–featured Spork Online regales members with the recipes for a new vegan meal each month created by sister chefs Heather and Jenny. Set within an elegant, spacious kitchen, the pair of foodsmiths concocts four dishes as they're shot in high definition for foodies to watch any time at their leisure, restraining the urge to nibble computer screens. Gripping included recipes and giggling at the witty repartee, members can craft the recipes as they're prepared in real time. Vegetable-curious members can also peruse the archives of cooking videos past, fashioning healthy vegan meals set around various themes and showcasing glamorous, spotlight-loving produce.
Robotics, archaeology, cooking?6- to 12-year-olds enrolled at Rigatoni & Robots learn such unexpected skills. Class topics include culinary, craft, science, and engineering. Kids here have the opportunity to whisk up multicultural dishes in the Tastes of the World club, glimpse shimmery views in Rocks, Gems, and Fossils, and learn woodcraft skills so they can whittle a whole tree from a bigger tree. The school also offers memberships that include 16 different classes that are held once per week for an hour each.
Stan Nicolaides often recalls eating at the kitchen table of his “yia yia,” the affectionate Greek term for one’s grandmother. There, he was unable to go play until he’d downed plates and plates of moussaka and gyros. Even then, it was clear he belonged in the kitchen.
Now, Stan makes his own rules while dishing out falafel, kebabs, and gyros named Best Greek Food two years running by SantaBarbara.com. After sopping up creamy hummus with fresh pita bread, guests have Nick whip up a chicken breast with thyme and lemon while he chatters in Greek.
Drawing on traditions passed down through the generations before her, Nimita Dhirajlal prepares vegetarian Indian cuisine following the Ayurvedic philosophy. To that end, she cooks to promote health with a menu based on only vegetarian ingredients, as well as to nurture the community by using locally sourced ingredients. At Nimita's Cuisine, she shares not only her meals through catering services, but also her techniques for preparing the piquant dishes through cooking classes.
Dhirajlal?a culinary instructor since the mid '90s?leads classes that teach students how to cook intuitively with a knowledge of the spices and methods, rather than just how to follow a recipe. At the end of each three-hour class, she invites the students to sit down and enjoy their vegetarian creations together, after first promising to not incite a food fight.
She also offers catering for large groups and delivers weekly baskets packed with meals such as saag paneer, butternut squash garbanzo curry, and moong bean daal to subscribers' doorsteps each Monday.