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.
After a course at Village Kitchen, accomplished chefs will inch closer to pro status, while those who've chopped more fingers than potatoes will have their clumsiness exorcised thanks to patient instruction from Village's enlightened gurus of all things edible. Classes are held every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (the classes are also offered one Wednesday a month at 6 p.m.), while the theme varies from week to week. On April 10, learn to master the pressure cooker to easily turn out incredible delights like coq au vin with button mushrooms, or discover the joys of the spring harvest on April 24 with a complete tutorial in a four-course seasonal feast with salmon medallions, baked gnocchi, and cherry-chocolate gelato. On May 8, harness the subtle power of Indian spices to create tandoori shrimp, curried salmon with cinnamon rice and golden raisins, and warm rice pudding; or craft the perfect wine appetizers (you'll make five), like scallop ceviche with melon and red-onion asparagus quesadillas, on May 22. You'll eat everything you make and get a beverage, so no one escapes hungry. Classes are limited to 18 people, so when you find the apple class of your human eye, call to schedule before it fills up.
In their urban kitchens from San Diego to Seattle, Hipcooks trains budding culinarians to build their own gourmet dishes from scratch. With more regard for cooks' instincts about taste than exacting recipe measurements, the classes are meant to be social learning experiences capped with a shared dinner. And the meals students learn to make are designed with a practical purpose in mind: an attempt to conjure up romance could feature a dinner of mushroom turnovers, pan-seared steak with polenta, and chocolate soufflé, and surprise guests may provoke an emergency menu of honey-pear salad and pistachio-crusted fish. Like a discriminating competitive eater, other courses focus on a specific cuisine. In Una Noche en España, for example, the chefs produce a wide variety of tapas, while students in Shortcut to Nirvana set the table with spicy curry and vegetarian samosas from the Indian subcontinent.
Located in the historic West Adams neighborhood, Cashmere Bites’ loft-style industrial kitchen stands out from its surroundings thanks to a large, cherry-red door. Inside the modern studio, stainless steel and blond-wood counters support students as they learn to craft satisfying meals during three-hour classes that use local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Sessions typically focus on specified regional cuisines or food for special occasions, such as football Sunday or tomato-fight Saturday. The instructors also host private cooking parties and travel to homes for more intimate lessons.
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.