Best Cooking Classes Around the World
The Pantry, U.S.
This Seattle school was created for home cooks who aspire to be David Chang, not Julia Child. Says 36-year-old founder Brandi Henderson, "My generation is more interested in pork buns than beef bourguignon." Henderson, an architect turned pastry chef, opened The Pantry with ambitious students in mind; classes are wildly eclectic and go deep. "We don't dumb things down," she says. "If making pork stock for ramen takes four days, we say take four days."
Max Class Size: 15
Price: From $75 for a three-hour class; thepantryseattle.com.
Hot Stove Society, U.S.
Taking a hands-on class at superstar Seattle chef Tom Douglas’s cooking school in the Hotel Ändra might be as close as you can get to staging in one of his kitchens without quitting your day job. As well as learning how to make his signature recipes, like coconut cream pie and Aleppo-pepper-cured salmon, restaurant nerds take classes with guest chefs like Marcus Samuelsson.
Max Class Size: 24
Cost: From $85 for a two-hour class; hotstovesociety.com.
Heirloom Kitchen, U.S.
Frustrated that their small New Jersey town had nowhere to shop for great-looking housewares or to learn about healthy recipes, Neilly Robinson and her mother, Judy Rosenblum, opened their store and school. In a kitchen designed by luxe cabinetmaker Arclinea, New York-based chefs like Rachel Nichols from The Smile and vegan expert Alexa Weitzman teach students to make "clean" recipes such as tempeh empanadas.
Max Class Size: 14
Cost: From $75 for a 2 1/2-hour class; ourheirloomkitchen.com.
The Farm Cooking School, U.S.
Located in a 250-year-old stone building on a working farm, this New Jersey school reflects a range of modern culinary obsessions: Students can learn cheesemaking or take a class that combines healthy cooking and yoga instruction. Run by two former Gourmet magazine editors, Ian Knauer and Shelley Wiseman, the school offers advanced lessons (DIY butchery using cattle raised on the farm, Mexican classics), as well as basics like knife skills.
Max Class Size: 12
Cost: From $75 for a three-hour class; thefarmcookingschool.com.
Good Stock Farm, U.S.
Sandy D'Amato ran his acclaimed Milwaukee restaurant Sanford for 23 years, cooking on the line every night. When he and his wife realized they'd had enough of the grind, they sold the restaurant and their apartment upstairs and bought a 1900s farmhouse on a riverbank in rural Massachusetts. D'Amato added a large and sunny teaching kitchen and began giving classes on refined Mediterranean-American food, including smart reinventions of the Sicilian dishes he ate growing up.
Max Class Size: 8
Cost: From $95 for a four-hour class; goodstockfarm.com.
Chef Contos Kitchen & Store, U.S.
In many ways, Courtney Contos is a big-city chef (she worked at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago), yet her tiny Vermont cooking school has a very personal vibe; every March she features recipes inspired by her Irish heritage. Students sit around a large butcher-block table, which creates a communal feeling, especially during the popular women-only classes. Befitting the school's friendly approach, Contos hands out her cell phone number for students to call during kitchen emergencies.
Max Class Size: 8
Cost: From $40 for a one-hour class; chefcontos.com.
Matthew Kenney Academy, U.S.
The F&W Best New Chef 1994 gives raw and vegan cooking classes in Santa Monica, California; he'll open a new school in Miami next month.
Cool Tools: Each teaching kitchen has 16 marble workstations and a super-cooling anti-griddle.
Virtual Class: A new online program lets students watch sessions and virtually interact with instructors and classmates.
Price: Sessions from $150; matthewkenneycuisine.com
San Francisco Cooking School, U.S.
This comprehensive school has strong ties to the chef community—F&W Best New Chef 1997 Daniel Patterson of Coi is a hands-on dean.
Sleeper Hit: "Our fish and shellfish techniques class has been surprisingly popular," says founder Jodi Liano.
Star Chef Sightings: At a recent class devoted to the SPQR cookbook,chef Matthew Accarrino made a surprise appearance.
Price: Classes from $60; sfcooking.com
Zero George Street, U.S.
Twice a week this new Charleston, South Carolina, inn (built out of a restored 1800s compound) hosts cooking classes in a converted carriage house. The emphasis: low-country dishes.
Chef Cred: Instructor Randy Williams trained under Tom Colicchio on Kiawah Island.
Best Class: A lesson on veal cheeks with sorghum-glazed carrots and Carolina Gold rice purloo covers braising and offers tips on using cast iron.
Price: $125 per person for a two-hour class; zerogeorge.com
The School of Artisan Food, England
Located on a sprawling estate in Nottinghamshire, the school is reviving traditional British techniques for making bread, cheese and more.
Student Body: People have come from as far away as Brazil, but there's also a serious local following—some students have opened businesses nearby.
Sleeper Hit: "We've had a lot more ladies taking the butchery course," says administrator Fiona Shepherd. "They break down a pig nose-to-tail."
Price: Classes from $25; schoolofartisanfood.org
L'École de Cuisine Alain Ducasse, France
Though beginners are welcome at legendary chef Alain Ducasse's Paris school, teachers focus on ambitious dishes like lobster court bouillon taken from Ducasse's cookbooks.
Popular Classes in English: Bistro Cuisine; Macarons Madness.
Workload: "When we started, we would teach eight recipes per class," says executive chef Pierre Morat. "Now we teach only two during a half-day class, so we know students will be able to re-create them at home."
Price: Classes from $192; ecolecuisine-alainducasse.com
Italy's best Roman chefs teach at this new school, which offers English-language courses.
Chef Cred: The founders are the three Troiani brothers of Rome's Michelin-starred Il Convivio Troiani, known for its exceptional wine list.
Popular Classes: I Primi Romani covers Roman standbys like cacio e pepe; pizza classes make use of a wood-fired oven.
Price: Classes from $90; coquis.it
The Gritti Epicurean School, Italy
An overhaul of the legendary Venice hotel Gritti Palace took almost two years and includes a luxurious cooking school.
Field Trip: Guests can take one- or three-day seminars; both stop by the Rialto market for traditional Italian aperitivi.
Insider Tip: Look for special events—perfume expert Chandler Burr hosted a dinner exploring scent and taste.
Price: Classes from $345; thegrittiepicureanschool.com
Planeta la Foresteria, Italy
Owned by the Planeta family, renowned for its wines, this 14-room inn on the Sicilian coast offers classes in regional Italian cooking.
Demo Session: Visitors can watch chef Angelo Pumilia prepare a meal in Planeta's blue-and-white-tiled kitchen.
Hands-on Option: Starting at 9:30 a.m., guests prepare a five-course lunch of classic recipes like pesto Trapanese (a tomato-and-almond pesto).
Price: $165 for a three-hour class; planetaestate.it
Rimba Jimbaran, Indonesia
Each class at this school, opened in October at Bali's Rimba Jimbaran resort, starts with a visit to Bali's famed fish market.
Most Popular Dishes: Guests learn classic recipes like pesan be pasih, snapper wrapped in a banana leaf, and nasi goreng, a Balinese fried rice.
Extra Credit: Students collect herbs and fruits from the resort's greenhouse.
Price: Classes from $59; rimbajimbaran.co
The Siam, Thailand
This modern hotel offers cooking classes in a historic wooden Thai house.
Class Size: Classes are by appointment, for a maximum of four guests. Book in advance.
Field Trip: Each class starts with a tuk tuk ride to the Thewet market to procure ingredients.
Level of Difficulty: Most classes start with basics like pad Thai or green curry.
Price: $200 for a half-day class; thesiamhotel.com
Florence Food Mecca
Desinare is Italy’s dreamiest new cooking school, with classes on pasta-making, Chianti Classico tastings and a superlative kitchen shop. desinare.it.