15 Fun Cooking Schools for Couples

Whether you’re an accomplished cook wanting to sharpen your skills or you’d just like to graduate from making cereal, these casual cooking schools will teach you the skills you need to navigate in the kitchen and have fun doing it.

By: Steve Larese
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Photo By: 2016(C)Vito Palmisano

15 Fun Cooking Classes Across the Country

These laid-back classes take cooking to the masses and help demystify the culinary arts. Treat yourself, or take a friend or date, and have a delicious time whether you’re learning the basics or you're out to impress at your next dinner party.

Santa Fe School of Cooking, New Mexico

The Santa Fe School of Cooking offers hands-on and demonstration classes specializing in Southwestern fare such as chiles relleno, tamales, blue corn pizza, salsas and sauces and all things chile. The three-day Southwestern Culinary Boot Camp is a deep dive into everything from knife skills to New Mexico culinary history. The classes are taught by some of Santa Fe’s top chefs and each day ends with a meal you’ve made yourself. Also worth checking out in New Mexico is the Cooking Studio Taos and Jane Butel's Southwest Cooking classes in Corrales near Albuquerque.

The Cooking School at Tutka Bay, Alaska

It’s an adventure just to reach the Cooking School at Tutka Bay at Tutka Bay Lodge; the only way to get there is a 25-minute boat trip across Kachemak Bay. Taught in the Widgeon II, a remodeled crabbing boat that was used during World War II as a troop carrier, daily classes are open to the general public and include meal preparation for such Alaskan staples such as halibut, crab, salmon, Kachemak Bay oysters and huge butter clams. Local ingredients such as berries, mushrooms, Alaska honey and vegetables grown on-site add to these uniquely Alaskan recipes.

Relish Culinary Adventures, California

Located in Sonoma County in the wine enclave of Healdsburg, the hands-on classes at Relish Culinary Adventures include such activities as mushroom foraging, pork butchering, local peach and olive oil tastings, pasta and cheese making, soups, sous vide techniques and "Food is Medicine" classes. Other notable California cooking classes are offered at the San Francisco Cooking School and at Wine & Roses Cooking School in Lodi.

Portland's Culinary Workshop, Oregon

Portland’s Culinary Workshop covers the basics of using herbs and spices and grilling 101. They explore dishes from such delish destinations as Vietnam, Korea and Germany. Hands-on classes include making artisan bread and Thai street food, and classes for kids are offered as well.

Wild Thyme Cooking, Kentucky

Located in Lexington, Wild Thyme Cooking explores the finer points of Kentucky cuisine with favorite classes such as "Classic Kentucky Tailgating: Big Blue Style," "For the Love of Chocolate & Bourbon," "Big Game Appetizers" and "Girls Night Out! Look Your Best Inside and Out." Pasta making, romantic desserts, sushi 101, Mediterranean, Cajun and other classes round out Wild Thyme Cooking’s fun courses.

New Orleans School of Cooking, Louisiana

The cuisine of the Big Easy is famous world-over, and at the New Orleans School of Cooking Cajun classics such as crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, pralines, chicken creole and corn and crab bisque are a few of the recipes detailed. The daily, three-hour classes are hands-on in the demonstration kitchen, and graduates go home with an official apron from the New Orleans School of Cooking.

Stir, Colorado

Denver’s Stir keeps the pots hot with classes that include pies and tarts. Some of the class offerings include "Five Classic Desserts Every Cook Should Know," "Valentine’s Day Chocolate Workshop," "High-Altitude Baked Goods," date night classes, specialty workshops such as gluten-free cooking, holiday classes, and even kids classes. All classes are hands-on in their Highlands neighborhood kitchen.

Fischer & Wieser's Culinary Adventure Cooking School, Texas

Deep in the heart of Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg, Fischer & Wieser’s Culinary Adventure Cooking School serves up a heaping helping of culinary instruction in its theater classroom. Classes such as its "Hill Country Tuscan Feast" (tomato-basil bruschetta, ribolitta white bean soup, Cacio e Pepe, chicken and artichokes, and peach biscotti crumble) and "German Feast" (bratwurst in pastry, Black Forest salad, warm potato salad, Jaegerschnitzel and Flaming Schnapps Apples) are taught in a storyteller manner that is delicious as the food.

Caputo's, Utah

Salt Lake City’s beloved Caputo's international grocery, cheese and chocolate store offers world-beat culinary classes ranging from Mediterranean cooking to its "Best in Utah" ingredients and recipes. "Bean-to-Bar Chocolate," "Wine 101" and "Intro to Cheese" classes are also part of their regular offerings.

CulinAerie, Washington, D.C.

Located in downtown Washington, D.C., CulinAerie caters to cooks of all skill levels with classes ranging from beginner and intermediate. Anglo Indian cuisine, French macaron workshop, knife know-how and other advanced recipes and techniques are also part of their course line up.

Epicurean Theater, Florida

Housed within Tampa’s tony Epicurean Hotel, The Epicurean Theater is a demonstration kitchen with a gamut of classes including the popular "Cupcakes & Cocktails," "Dinner with a Master Chef," pasta making, grilling and other recipe-based and culinary lecture sessions. Epicurean Theater also partners with Where Love Grows and the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa to teach cooking classes for children.

L'ecole de la Maison Cooking School at the Osthoff Resort, Wisconsin

This French-forward cooking school within the historic Osthoff Resort reveals its restaurant’s recipes during its "Lola’s Secret Recipes" class. Other hands-on classes include "French Fare," "European Breakfast Cookery," "French Christmas," "German Heritage," "Casually Italian" and "Wisconsin Roots". Classes are generally four to five hours and are open to the general public.

Institute of Culinary Education, New York

The cooking classes offered by the Institute of Culinary Education are as diverse as the Big Apple itself. Hands-on recreational classes open to the general public include "Fast Fish Dinners with Mediterranean Flavors" in which students prepare herb crusted branzino with mushrooms and scallions; Mediterranean-style fish stew; swordfish and shrimp with olives, tomatoes and capers; and tuna with green sauce. For the sweet tooth, try the "Eastern European Desserts" class where you'll make Polish Chrusciki (sugar-dusted, angel-wing-shaped crullers), Lithuanian Spurgos (preserve-filled doughnuts), Latvian Rye Bread Trifle (layered pudding with cream and berries), and Croatian Povitica (nut bread wrapped around a sweet walnut filling). Recipes from other parts of the world are covered as well as cooking basics for beginners.

The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market, Ohio

Students at the Cooking School at Jungle Jim’s International Market in Fairfield, just outside of Cincinnati, will discover hands-on classes that explore sushi, bread baking, hearth-baked stuffed pizza, homemade rustic Italian (citrus salad with fennel, homemade Italian sausage, Italian beef and sausage ragu, handmade fettuccine, chocolate almond biscotti), grilling techniques and other instruction.

Marcel's Culinary Experience, Illinois

Tucked along the main street of historic Glen Ellyn, 30 miles west of Chicago, Marcel’s Culinary Experience has a diverse array of classes such as "A Night in Peru," in which students make pineapple pisco punch, drunken scallop ceviche with pomegranates, carrot beet and arugula salad, Lomo Saltado (traditional beef stir-fry with rice), and donuts with spice-infused honey syrup — all while sipping pisco sours.