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Cooking Classes in the Area


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Does anyone have experience with L'Academie de Cuisine? Does anyone have recs on other cooking classes? If I go with L'Academie, what do you suggest I take?

I cook at home with success, but I just want to be better. I would not mind being more efficient with the knife (but not at the expence of my fingers). I would like to know when I am browning meat correctly or is the oil flying for no good reason.

I would like to understand the essentials better, but not get bored in the process.

The guy on the phone suggested I go through the Beginner Technique Series, but I wonder if that would be too slow: three sessions of three classes per session. If you know its good, I would consider it. Otherwise, I was wondering if I should take Basic Knife Skills, do the Primary Skills Weekend and then move onto the Culinary Skills lab.

Thanks for any advice.

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I took the extended basic knife class. It was 1 night a week over 3 weeks. It covered a lot of basic and advanced knife work, and threw in a lot of interesting cooking skills work. I like to think of myself as a good intermediate home cook and I think I learned all sorts of little interesting things. The teacher was fantastic.

The class was well worth the time.

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I took a one-afternoon basic knife skills class many years ago from L'academie, before they offered the workshop described by JeffSenter. It was a great experience but it was also way too short. I am a big believer in L'academie's recreational program, which I think offers some of the most reliable classes around. Some of the series are especially useful; I think Susan Watterson in particular is a knowledgeable, patient and entertaining instructor. I am a graduate of the professional program at L'academie.

There are lots of other classes out there, though. Many community colleges offer recreational classes that may be of interest, and they're usually not too expensive either. There are also people who teach private and small classes in their home that may be of use, especially for specialized skills--I'd jump at the chance to take an Indian cooking class from Monica Bhide, for example. The Washington Post publishes a comprehensive list of cooking classes every year, which is probably linked to their Food and Dining page on their Web site.

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Does anyone have experience with L'Academie de Cuisine?  Does anyone have recs on other cooking classes?  If I go with L'Academie, what do you suggest I take?

I cook at home with success, but I just want to be better.  I would not mind being more efficient with the knife (but not at the expence of my fingers).  I would like to know when I am browning meat correctly or is the oil flying for no good reason.

I would like to understand the essentials better, but not get bored in the process.

The guy on the phone suggested I go through the Beginner Technique Series, but I wonder if that would be too slow: three sessions of three classes per session.  If you know its good, I would consider it.  Otherwise, I was wondering if I should take Basic Knife Skills, do the Primary Skills Weekend and then move onto the Culinary Skills lab.     

Thanks for any advice.

If you are a good cook at home go for the culinary skills lab. I did the professional pastry arts course there and it is excellent. The have a 20 hour version, I think. Woods

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I did the Primary Skills weekend when I was right about at the level you describe and I thought it was very good. I've also liked the all-day Thai class and basic knife skills.

Stick with the participation classes and you'll do well.

Bill Russell

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Thanks everyone. I saw the Post article, but wanted to get advice from EG. I figured there would be some experience here. Sounds like the way to go is Weekend Culinary boot camp, knives and then to the lab.

Cannot wait to get my groove on in the kitchen.

edit due to spelling problem

Edited by buttercup (log)
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If you want to do something a little more hardcore (and therefore more expensive) the L'Academie Fundamental Culinary Techniques program, one night (3 hours) a week for 20 weeks, is very good. You will learn a ton and realize that you are just scratching the surface! However, it runs $1,800 plus another couple hundred for equipment (knife set and chef jacket).

http://www.lacademie.com/Academic/Continui...onteduprog.asp#

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This is the one I took and I loved it.

If you want to do something a little more hardcore (and therefore more expensive) the L'Academie Fundamental Culinary Techniques program, one night (3 hours) a week for 20 weeks, is very good.  You will learn a ton and realize that you are just scratching the surface!  However, it runs $1,800 plus another couple hundred for equipment (knife set and chef jacket). 

http://www.lacademie.com/Academic/Continui...onteduprog.asp#

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