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.
At Raw Done Tastefully, certified raw foods chef and instructor Raquel Smith teaches students about the benefits of eating raw. Using her certifications from the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico and the Living Light Culinary Institute, Raquel leads classes that range from introductory demos to hands-on classes to multi-day healthy living seminars. Using raw and organic ingredients, she can teach students to craft cuisine in a variety of styles such as Asian fusion, Latin American, and Italian, with dishes such as chocolate mousse tart, curry-walnut pate, and tropical plantains.
From basic knife skills to holiday cookies, New School of Cooking offers a variety of fun, hands-on classes. Seasonal and local ingredients are used in all of the classes, and the school also offers pro-series classes for both serious home chefs or those pursuing a culinary career.
During the 90-minute techniques class, you and another person will have the rare opportunity to observe a chef in its natural environment as the culinary wizard offers a demonstration on a given subject. Each class concludes with a small tasting at the end, offering a response to the puddles of mouthwater that will have gathered on the floor by that time. Upcoming mini-skills class topics include summer-baking techniques on May 23, offering a solution for cooks long crushed by the quandaries of cobblers, crumbles, and crisps; canning on June 20, to help preserve summertime treats from the advances of time and army ants; and tomatoes on July 25, with tips on sauces, chutneys, preserves, and recipes using the apple's cooler cousin. Groupon users can also apply this deal toward two spots in one of Old Town Cooking School's wine-styles classes ($50) and pay the $24 difference out of pocket.