Thanks so much for all the information!
I've only tried one class so far - Essential Knife Skills at Viking Home Chef - and it was okay, but not one that motivated me to "sign right up" for a 10 class series.I'll check out the options that all of you have mentioned.
Has anyone tried the Sur La Table classes? They sound interesting as well.
First, the disclosure. I have assisted at Sur La Table in Los Gatos for the past 6 years, so know their program quite well. I now teach at the Los Gatos SLT also.
That being gotten out of the way, I think for SLT, the classes quality depend highly upon the quality of the teacher. If Alice Medrich is doing hands-on chocolate, or Joyce Jue Chinese, or Chat Mingkwan Thai cooking, you will learn much while doing. It is also a good place to catch authors touting their books, if you are into that. While Chat teaches in Los Gatos, Joyce and Alice appear to be mostly in Berkeley in the next several months.
The downside - classes are usually geared to people who have little to no cooking experience, so might well be too simplistic for you. You probably know more than you think you do already. I doubt you'd get as much 'hands-on' as you seem to want. as most classes have 16 people and due to organizational constraints, you would only get to work on 1 recipe.
Other SF Bay area teachers that I have found excellent are: Linda Carucci, Jay Harlow, Cindy Race and Charlie Vollmer (Charlie does good hands on knife skills).
Some people really like Hugh Carpenter but he's not my cup of tea.
Another option - Emile Mooser of Emile's Restaurant in San Jose teaches an intensive multi-week hands on course based on classic French technique. If memory serves me right, it's not as expensive as Tante Marie. Perhaps something to keep in your back pocket, if not for right now.
Here are links:Sur La TableEmile's Cooking Classes
Good luck and I hope this info is helpful to you.