Whether you live here or are merely visiting, cooking classes in New York City are always an enjoyable thing to do. I set out to find a collection of popular courses that would meet certain criteria of mine. They had to be small, hands-on classes. (No mere demonstrations, thank you…I want to get my hands dirty.) One day only (because I clearly have a fear of commitment). And not crazy expensive (because I’m cheap). I haven’t yet taken any of the courses below, but reviews by former students are favorable, so all of them are officially on my to-do list.
Miette Culinary Studio has a variety of $80-$110 one-day classes. The Belgian born chef, Paul Vandewoude, has made his mark in some of the city’s best restaurants like Le Zinc in Tribeca and Tartine right here in the West Village. Classes are tiny–under 12 students–and are compatible with any level of expertise. Upcoming classes include: “Souffle for your Supper”, which includes a savory cheddar souffle, raspberry souffle and chocolate souffle with chocolate fudge sauce. In “Give ‘em Schnitzel” (hey–don’t yell at me–I didn’t make up the name), students will prepare chicken schnitzel with spaetzle and red cabbage, escarole salad with warm anchovy vinaigrette and homemade croutons and a pear tart with vanilla ice cream. Classes end with a sit-down dinner with wine, served by the chef and a take-home copy of the recipes.
I want to take the knife skills class at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg. For $55 they will teach you how to sharpen a knife properly and cut up veggies without adding your precious fingertips to your primavera. Most of the classes here are hands-on, although not all. (Sorry, but you’ll have to be content to be merely a spectator in the pig-butchering class.) But the homemade pizza class (with Roberta’s, the hot new pizza joint), a braising class and Vietnamese street food class more than make up for it. 10-40 students per session.
The Institute of Culinary Education There are some cool theme classes at this Chelsea school. “Favorite Chinese Takeout” (won-ton soup, pot stickers and General Tso’s chicken), “Crustacean Celebration” (crawfish etouffee, lobster bisque, soft-shell crab po’ boy). Or “Best of Beef”, which includes braised short ribs, ribeye and chimichurri beef skewers. Baking classes include a red velvet cake workshop and Passover baking instructional. $85-$125 classes culminate in a group dinner with wine.
Rustico holds Italian cooking classes for up to 22 people in a loft located in midtown. Themes usually focus on a specific region “An Evening in Lombardy” features breasola with arugula and shaved parmigiano, sausage and cheese ravioli in sage-infused butter and veal scaloppine in balsamic glaze with basil and shallots. “Hot and Spicy Italian” will include handmade cavatelli pasta with spicy pancetta ragu and three cheeses, crispy focaccia with chilies and fennel seeds and a roasted sweet pepper medley. I want to take “10 Best Pasta Sauces” because, frankly, I wouldn’t ever have to learn how to cook anything else. Cost, with wine, is $110-$120 per person.