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Cooking Classes in Seattle


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23 replies to this topic

#1 LainerX

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 03:21 PM

I've found myself with a little more time on my hands and am interested in taking a few cooking classes if possible. A Google search brought up a number of options, however, I was wondering if any of you had taken classes that you could recommend.

Ideally, I'd take a few single classes and explore a few different cuisines.

Any thoughts?

#2 MT-Tarragon

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 04:23 PM

You may be interested in the Bon Vivant School of Cooking. Particularly, it sounds like you might be interested in the international series which is only offered in the spring and is nine three-hour classes. I've taken their basics series and art of fine cuisine series as well as several one evening classes and am very happy with what I learned. I've recommended them to several other people, and they have all been happy.
M. Thomas

#3 Della

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 04:33 PM

The Culinary Communion has great classes and some great instructors. You can go to their website ( i am lame and am not sure how to add the link ) but it is just their name (dot) com and get a listing of classes. They have a variety of single, series, tecnique and specialty classes. You can't go wrong with Chef Gabe!

#4 scarlett

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 07:22 PM

I've been taking classes all over the city for the past few months. Here's a rundown:

Culinary Communion - My favorite place to take classes. The course content typically pushes the envelope beyond the standard fare. Hands on classes mean you and the other students cook the entire meal. Afterwards, you all sit and enjoy your meal with wine (all included in the price). I've taken lots of classes here, but a few hilights are pasta making, charcuterie, cheese making, the baking series, etc. Attendees in these classes really know what's up and are serious cooks. For the class, real hands on, the meal, and local culinary scene info gathered from these classes, in my opinion, I'd say this is the best value for your. Chefs here have formal culinary school training and teach using emphasis on techniques. http://www.culinaryc...m/classes.shtml

Cook's World - I especially like the guest chefs here. I've enjoyed the baking series, Dana Bickford's pasty class (another one coming up Dec. 11th), and George DiPasquale from the Essential Bakery (he has one coming up too). Hands on does NOT really mean you will really be making things yourself. This is a predominantly demonstration format. I've takend 10+ classes here and the only real hands on class was the George DiPasquale. http://www.cooksworl...php?m=12&y=2005

PCC Markets - For the most part, they have great classes. Some of my favorite local chefs will do classes at PCC and other venues around the city. Typically it's the same exact class, same recipes. If they're at PCC, I'll pick here first (they're cheaper and have a better atmosphere). Favorites include Maria Hines, Executive Chef at Earth & Ocean, and Sue McCown, Pastry Chef at Earth & Ocean. Again, hands on does not really mean you will be cooking the meal yourself. It's more gratuitous chop this, slice that, have you ever used a microplane? http://www.pccnatura...cooks/index.php

Sur La Table - These guys get in the big nationally recognized chefs as well as local notable chefs. The price is the same as Culinary Communion and for the most part, I'd rather take a class there. Sur La Table lacks an intimacy and they tend to keep the chefs on a strict time schedule so sometimes they seem uncomfortably rushed. I'd rather not take classes here but they tend to get the chefs who aren't doing things anywhere else. As an example, I'm taking David Lebovitz (12/5), Tom Douglas (12/7), and Ethan Stowell (1/31). Iole Aguero is a great one to take classes from too. She's local and has a couple classes coming up.
http://www.cmiregist...d=11347&org=287

Bon Vivant - Everywhere has their pros and cons. While I like these classes, I hate the fact that you have to buy a series in order to enjoy occasional classes. To try their classes, you can purchase one for your first class. After then, you have to prepay in blocks (5 or 10). I tried to beg my way into a class without buying the series and they said no. Then once the class approached and enrollment numbers were low, they called and said "we can make this one exception." Turned me off to them entirely. Too bad. This is the first place I took classes at and I really enjoyed it, but I went elsewhere. People I know that have taken her series classes really enjoy them though. http://www.bon-vivant.com/

Blue Ribbon Cooking - Again, everywhere has their pros & cons. I took a series class here in the spring. The first couple classes were really great. Then, for some unknown reason, the owners opened up the classes to anyone. They literally overloaded the classes. We started with 14 or so people who all started to get to know eachother. Each person or "team" made 2 or 3 dishes. It was really great because we had lots of recipes that we'd made or sampled the results. I made notes--like this one, try again. Low on technique instruction and but what I got out of it was a collection of recipes I really enjoy. BUT, by the last class we had 30+ people. The comraderie was gone and we went from making at least one dish by ourselves to looking over someone's shoulder. Others in our group spoke to the owners about thier dissatisfaction with overloading the class. The appoligized but the long story short is, I think they're just in it for the money and don't really care. I'd have a hard time going back here--even though the first few classes in the series was so positive. In the end, the negative far outweighed the positive. www.blueribboncooking.com/
Traca
Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

#5 jrt

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 11:49 PM

Bon Vivant - Everywhere has their pros and cons.  While I like these classes, I hate the fact that you have to buy a series in order to enjoy occasional classes.  To try their classes, you can purchase one for your first class.  After then, you have to prepay in blocks (5 or 10).  I tried to beg my way into a class without buying the series and they said no.  Then once the class approached and enrollment numbers were low, they called and said "we can make this one exception."  Turned me off to them entirely.  Too bad.  This is the first place I took classes at and I really enjoyed it, but I went elsewhere.  People I know that have taken her series classes really enjoy them though.  http://www.bon-vivant.com/

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This was exactly my experience at Bon Vivant... you nailed it on the head. Too bad. I'll Try Culinary Communion now, thanks to your recommendation. Thanks!

#6 LainerX

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 04:56 PM

Wow, Scarlett! Thanks for that awesome review of classes. Thanks to your replty, I'm now looking into taking some classes at Culinary Communion - maybe I'll see you there?

#7 MT-Tarragon

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 05:50 PM

Cook's World - I especially like the guest chefs here.  I've enjoyed the baking series, Dana Bickford's pasty class (another one coming up Dec. 11th), and George DiPasquale from the Essential Bakery (he has one coming up too).  Hands on does NOT really mean you will really be making things yourself.  This is a predominantly demonstration format.  I've takend 10+ classes here and the only real hands on class was the George DiPasquale. http://www.cooksworl...php?m=12&y=2005

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Did I see you in George's bread class? I enjoyed that class very much, but it is the only one that I've taken from Cook's World.
M. Thomas

#8 scarlett

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 07:06 PM

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[/quote]

Did I see you in George's bread class? I enjoyed that class very much, but it is the only one that I've taken from Cook's World.

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[/quote]


The one class I took with George was "Flatbreads from Around the World". I know he's done several others. Was that the one?
Traca
Seattle, WA

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#9 kiliki

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:49 AM

Don't forget the montly class offered at Le Gourmand. You can call the restaurant and ask what any given month's focus will be.

#10 Della

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 06:45 PM

Wow, Scarlett!  Thanks for that awesome review of classes.  Thanks to your replty, I'm now looking into taking some classes at Culinary Communion - maybe I'll see you there?

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I have to second that - Great Reviews Scarlett! THank you!

#11 LainerX

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:15 AM

I just wanted to pop in here and tell you that I took a class at the new Eastside Culinary Communion site. It was excellent. Chef Katie was a wealth of knowledge and the class was the perfect blend of formal teaching and hands on (which for me means mostly the latter). It was fun and I'll definately go back.

I totally recommend this experience to anyone looking to take a class. Thanks for the tips!

#12 Placebo

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 03:29 PM

I like Culinary Communion a lot. Good classes, great teachers, great food and a good time.
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#13 vinelady

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:21 AM

Are there any local chefs that you would like to see present classes?

#14 elswinger

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 08:34 AM

How are the classes at Whole Foods?
"Homer, he's out of control. He gave me a bad review. So my friend put a horse head on the bed. He ate the head and gave it a bad review! True Story." Luigi, The Simpsons

#15 scarlett

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:49 AM

Earlier I did a recap of my thoughts and impressions of cooking classes around the city. I'd been taking so many classes at Culinary Communion, that I forgot some key things about classes at other places. What's up with taking a $65 class and walking away still hungry? I love how Culinary Communion not only offers wine at the beginning of class and with the meal, but at the end, you really get a meal...and are encouraged to take leftovers home.

Tonight I took a class at Sur la Table in Kirkland. They no longer serve wine and the classes are still in the $60 range. And this is one place that you either eat dinner before or after, but don't count on getting more than just a bite or two of something.

Well, I just took the most amazing class tonight with Ethan Stowell of Union. While I have taken several classes at Sur la Table, it was the chef who made the biggest difference.

We started the night with Totten Virginica Oysters on the half shell with Frozen Wine Mignonette. They oysters were fresh as you could possibly be, this was a true delight. And obviously the staff was shocked by the amount of food he made. For the oysters, people had at least a half dozen each!

Then we moved on to Baked Clams with Parsley, Garlic, & Bread Crumbs. He changed things up a bit and served it as a creamy sauce with clams and the parsley & garlic, topped with bread crumbs and shaved parmesan. This was broiled and then topped with a frisse salad & vinaigrette. Amazing. Served as individual portions in a 4 or 5 inch little copper pan, the contrast of the creamy with the salad and a tart dressing...it was fabulous.

Next up was a Mussel Stew with Leeks, Saffron, and Lemon. It was light and visually stunning. Served as a 6 oz portion in a mug.

Seared Sea Scallops with Avocado Puree and Parsley Salad featured two big, fat scallops. The avocado puree was a great pairing although quite different. Really great.

A surprise course ended with manchego cheese topped with fig jam.

There were 12 people in the class and Chef said he used 10 pounds of clams and another 10 pounds of mussels. I can't imagine how many oysters he went through but it was amazing.

Then he talked as he cooked, sharing numerous great tips with everyone. He invited people to ask as many questions as they wanted--even a few off topic questions.

It's been said here before, but if you get a chance to take a class with Ethan Stowell, you are in for a real treat!
Traca
Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

#16 breezybeaches

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 11:46 AM

Wow, Scarlet-- you are an amazing reporter! Thanks for sharing your culinary education updates, experiences, and opinions... based on your first post from last year I have been making the rounds at schools in the Seattle area. I'm having a blast, learning alot, trying new foods, and meeting new friends.

Do you know of Chef Hope Sandler? I have been trying to follow her around (she teaches in a number of local schools) because she's the best teacher I have ever taken classes from. Her style is warm, friendly, very professional, and she really TEACHES you something! My confidence has increased dramatically since being in her classes... I actually cook now. I wish she had a website so I could easily find out where she'll be next.... I feel funny phoning her (her contact info is on all her recipes). Anyway, try out one of her classes soon! I saw that she will be at Sur La Table next month and she's always at Renton Technical College (which is too far away for me)... I took one of her classes at Bon Vivant School of Cooking (I had to buy a series-- what's up with that?? I'm planning to just take all of the classes that Chef Hope teaches there) and it was great! I like the hands-on classes with her because she'll give people individual instruction at just the right times.

Thanks again, Scarlet! I hope you'll keep giving us updates!

#17 scarlett

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 10:28 AM

Hey there Breezybeaches! Thanks for the recommendation about Hope Sandler. Everyone who has taken her classes has the same glowing review!

Did you see she's got a class coming up on Monday?

Check it out:
http://a-chefs-kitch..._wsn/page3.html



Hope's also got a "Pinot Pairing" class on April 7th at Culinary Communion*. I'll be taking this one!

http://www.culinaryc...m/cal04-06.html

Disclaimer: I've been taking a bunch of classes at CC (and everywhere else!). Recently I've been working with CC to bring on some of my favorite Seattle chefs for classes. Hope is one of them! :)
Traca
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blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

#18 skyflyer3

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 02:24 PM

Has anyone taken a local knife skills class? Any good ones? I see that Sur La Table has one coming up, but I am looking for lots of technique, versus a push on equipment. Thanks.

#19 dandelion

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:00 PM

I took a knife skills class last year at RainCity Cooking School in Bellevue. The intructor has an extensive cooking background and hosts the school out of her well-equipped home kitchen. The one night (3 hour) class included information about choosing the right knives for the job, proper techniques, and how to care for your knives. Students were welcome to bring their own knives or use the intructor's extensive collection. Everything we chopped up for the class came together in a meal that we ate together at the end, with wine. The atmosphere was great, and the instructor was very generous with one-on-one help and answering questions. I thought it was a too basic of a class for me, but a friend that took it with me learned a lot.

http://www.raincitycookingschool.com/

#20 tamiam

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 10:48 PM

Here is another opportunity to take classes with Chef Hope. I've heard that the Renton facility is really nice, though I haven't seen it myself. The class sounds awesome and you can't beat the price for a four-part series:

CULINARY TREATS OF OLD ITALY

Join Chef Hope Sandler, a nationally recognized culinary educator,

food writer, and professional chef, in this inspirational 4-part series

where you’ll learn about the old culinary traditions of Italy-specialty

foods prepared from scratch, by hand, using traditional techniques,

and enjoyed among friends. With Chef Hope as your guide, you will

explore sfogliata-stuffed breads; tortas-layered tarts, pies and cakes;

calzone-individual stuffed dough’s resembling turnovers; timpano,

or timballo-a complex drum-shaped dish of pasta-filled pastry; and

pizza-round savory tarts made with crisp yeast dough covered with

cheeses, vegetables, and meats. Chef Hope will coach you through

blending, kneading, and rolling out dough’s, exploring an enormous

range of filling possibilities, and inspire you to express your culinary

creativity. She is accomplished at teaching traditional Italian cooking

and baking skills while still making it possible for even a novice to

create delicious, high quality dishes. Supply cost is included in the

tuition fee. NO CLASS ON 2/20/2006

CULS 104 8215 12 hrs/1 credit Fee: $101.60 I107

2/6-3/6 6:00PM-9:00PM T SANDLER

Renton Technical College

3000 NE Fourth Street

Renton, WA 98056-4195

(425) 235-2352

http://www.rtc.edu/S...es/Winter07.pdf

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

#21 MagFoodGuy

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:19 PM

We have a group of around 8 that would like to take a cooking class together for a birthday in June. I am working on maybe Boat Street but does anyone know of any other restaurants or chefs that offer private classes? Thanks.

#22 tsquare

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:26 PM

We have a group of around 8 that would like to take a cooking class together for a birthday in June.  I am working on maybe Boat Street but does anyone know of any other restaurants or chefs that offer private classes? Thanks.

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Brasa, Flying Fish, Cascadia to start.

#23 Foodie-Girl

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 05:55 PM

I've taken classes at CASCADIA. Great set-up in the kitchen and wonderful lunch at the end.

#24 OrleansAg

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:13 PM

Scarlett (since you seem to be very knowledgeable) or others. Great thread on the exact topic I was looking for. Yeah eGullet! I recently moved from Cincinnati to Seattle. In Cincy, I took adult evening cooking classes and some culinary arts curriculum classes at the Midwest Culinary Insitute. Do any culinary schools have hands on classes?

Also, do any of you know of any other food groups or clubs? I know that is vague, but I'm new and would like to re-engage with my passion: Food and those who love it.

Thanks!