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Cooking Classes in North NJ/NYC


skinsey123
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I'm starting to run out of Christmas gift ideas for some friends and family, and wanted to see if there were any cooking classes/seminars in North Jersey, or perhaps NYC, that you all might recommend?

I've been to the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC for various team building events, and think they have classes. I've also seen different regional county colleges and Adult Education classes that look somewhat interesting, but question their quality. I suspect there are a lot of choices out there, just don't know where to look.

Any recommendations or experiences you could share?

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Been to three classes at ICE (formerly Peter Kump's) in NYC. Both very good -- one was a planned event (birthday party, where the host designed the menu we cooked), and the other two were gifts to instructional classes (one on French Bistro other on Chocolate). Both were a lot of fun.

With the recreational classes, there are a variety of skill levels, interests, knowledge, etc., so depending on the makeup of the class, level of interest, etc., you'll get different amounts out of it, but regardless, I've enjoyed all of them. Their web site should have all the details -- they have a huge variety of courses...

http://www.iceculinary.com/

I've gotten flyers periodically for Urban Kitchen in Hoboken -- don't know the quality of the programs/instructors, but they have some interesting things -- but I've never tried it.

http://www.urbankitchen.biz/Homepage.htm

Personally, I think for anyone thats interested in cooking, these make a great gift, and fun to do with a spouse or group of friends!

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I know that you can purchase private cooking demos/classes/parties at Chef Central in Paramus. Last year, they offered a GREAT deal--something like $300-400 for 8 people, and you get a $100 gift certificate when you buy the class. Sadly, I couldn't get my friends together quickly enough to take advantage of it, but you should definitely ask if they offer that all the time!

I also recently read about the Viking (as in ranges) Cooking School, which is at

4 Sperry Road

Fairfield, NJ 07004

Phone: 973.244.1580

I've been curious to see what they're all about, but haven't called yet.

Kings used to offer classes in their CooKingstudios, but I don't know if they still do. There's also a place in Westfield called ___ Thyme; I've seen their info out a lot. Anyone know what I'm talking about?

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Not that I am shamelessly self-promoting, but we do offer private and group lessons at our shoppe at Picnic. We discuss the desires of every client and teach them exactly what they'd like to learn.

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It's not as fancy as the rest but I have a friend who has taken a couple of classes at Williams-Sonoma. The ones she took are kind of basic but I think she said they have a variety. I think she said the last one she took was at their Garden State Plaza location -- I could be wrong about that however. I think they also have a location at Riverside Square as well.

Good luck.

Eric

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the "classes" at Degustibus in NYC in Macy*s have been, in my experience, excellent. they have big time chefs coming through, from all over the world, and an awful lot of those names you'd find on TV, which is always fun. and they serve wine.

some of the people i've seen there over the years include Mario Batali, Jaques, Bobby Flay, Andrea Immer (wine tasting), Ming, and many others that i can't remember, but not because they weren't good.

those weren't hands on situations, but they do offer hands on courses as well. for me, i'm rather fine sitting back having Mario cook for me and pair wines with the food as i pretend to take notes. my one hands-on experience there was a knife course, which kicked off with cocky me being the first jerk to cut himself. sweet.

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Anything suitable for an almost 16 y.o. aspiring chef? My youngest's goals include attending the CIA and I'd like to get him started with something besides what Mom has to offer. No kiddie stuff, but some classes have age cutoffs.

Dana

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Anything suitable for an almost 16 y.o. aspiring chef?  My youngest's goals include attending the CIA and I'd like to get him started with something besides what Mom has to offer.  No kiddie stuff, but some classes have age cutoffs.

Dana

are you regulars at any local restaurants? i bet if you ask the chef if your son can spend a day in the kitchen as a birthday present or whatever you'll get a 'yes'. in my experience chefs get perverse amusement out of throwing an outsider into the kitchen for a 12 hour shift.

then again that'll probably turn your son off of cooking forever. :biggrin:

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Anything suitable for an almost 16 y.o. aspiring chef?  My youngest's goals include attending the CIA and I'd like to get him started with something besides what Mom has to offer.  No kiddie stuff, but some classes have age cutoffs.

Dana

are you regulars at any local restaurants? i bet if you ask the chef if your son can spend a day in the kitchen as a birthday present or whatever you'll get a 'yes'. in my experience chefs get perverse amusement out of throwing an outsider into the kitchen for a 12 hour shift.

then again that'll probably turn your son off of cooking forever. :biggrin:

Actually, the chef where I work let him come in for a day. When I saw him washing dishes and peeling 200 bananas, I also thought this might turn him off his goal. But, no, he had a great time. so, he's not afraid of work. And he will be working at a friend's restaurant next summer. But I was thinking of somewhere he could do the "fun" stuff and learn some kitchen basics. ICE has some good "recreational" courses but I don't really want to have to truck him into the city.

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I know both The Dining Room at Short Hills Hilton and Fat Kat in Little Ferry offer private cooking classes. I bought a certificate for my Brother-in-law for Short Hills, and included a little extra for my sister to dine with him later in the evening --

I know of a cooking party a friend arranged with Chef Tony at Fat Kat -- I am holding on to that idea for next year's gift!

Jan

"When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking."

- Elaine Boosler

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