Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

Continuing Education and Just Plain Fun Learning Experiences

by Nancy Freeman


Les Gourmettes
6610 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85012-1014
(602) 266-0071
Fax (602) 266-2706

Les Gourmettes offers series taught by owner Barbara Poole Fenzl and individual classes by visiting worthies. LG provides the unique option of offering the same classes at morning and evening hours for student convenience.


The Art of Thai Cooking
Kasma Loha-Unchit
105 Echo Avenue
Oakland, California 94611
(510) 655-8900

Loha-Unchit offers four-session hands-on beginning and intermediate classes in Thai cooking which will demystify the process for any student. Price-wise probably the best bargain of them all, her classes teach students to feel comfortable with the ingredients and not be overly dependent on recipes. Beginning classes include a Sunday morning trip to Oakland's Chinatown and lessons on where to find ingredients. Advanced classes are frequent, though not scheduled.

California Culinary Academy
625 Polk Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(800) BAY-CHEF

The San Francisco Bay Area is definitely the place for classes galore in food arts. The CCA offers all sorts, from the elementary to the more specialized. Carving and butchering, canning, ice-carving, three-session regional French and Italian classes, seasonal specialties, cooking, baking, just about anything you can think of is available taught by CCA's chef instructors.

Cooking... for Your Life
Janet Dresser
460 Bret Harte Road
San Rafael, CA 94901
( 415) 455-8939


"Discover how delicious  healthy cooking can be! Janet Dresser, chef and registered nurse, offers small, hands on classes in her Marin county, California professional home kitchen. Have fun preparing seasonal and local food and sit down for a family style meal with friends and new friends. My classes are lively, amusing and very informative. Learn techniques and recipes that will help you lose weight, boost your immune system and lower blood pressure and blood sugar. My classes are perfect for team building activities."

Culinary Institute of America
Highway 29
St. Helena, California
Phone (707) 963-2371 for reservations
(800) 333-9242 for course information

The CIA's east coast campus is located in Hyde Park, New York, where students have trained for Associate and Bachelor's degrees in culinary fundamentals since 1946. The Napa Valley location offers continuing education and represents a new world view of the pleasures of the table. Classes are taught by visiting professionals in the wine and food industry. Renowned chefs, wine educators, nutritionists and even anthropologists will discuss what it means to grow, cook and enjoy food in many cultures, moving beyond the traditional European focus.

Great News! Discount Cookware and Cooking School
1788 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, CA 92109

Great News! Discount Cookware and Cooking School is located in San Diego, California.  We are pleased to offer high end, quality cookware at discounted prices, daily cooking classes in our state of the art cooking school and an online retail store!  With our focus on each and every customer’s satisfaction, we strive to offer the highest level of service whether you’re in our store, cooking school or shopping online.  See what we have to offer at www.great-news.com!

The Great Chefs at Robert Mondavi Winery
PO Box 106M
Oakville, California 94562
(707) 944-2866
Fax (707) 944-8517

Three times yearly the Mondavi Winery provides a great deal more than a cooking class. The Great Chefs series consists of three two-or three-day weekends, each with two or three cooking classes by fine visiting chefs, numerous meals, winery tours, wine tastings, music and dancing. Definitely a lavish affair. Price includes lodging.

Hugh Carpenter's
Napa Valley Food and Wine Adventure
PO Box 114
Oakville, California 94562
(707) 944-9112
Fax (707) 944-2221

Another more-than-just cooking class adventure. Five cooking classes with five days of partying, wine-tasting, touring, seminars and croquet. Some of these are taught by Carpenter himself, others by the likes of Marimar Torres. Meals at some of the top restaurants in Napa Valley. Price does not include lodging.

La Varenne Cooking School
PO Box 5180
Santa Monica, CA 90409-5180

Napa Valley College -- Culinary Arts Program
Napa Valley College Upper Valley Campus
1088 College Avenue
St. Helena, California 94574
(707) 967-2930
Fax (707) 967-2909

Napa Valley College offers a range of individual cooking classes with some of the outstanding chefs from San Francisco, the wine country and beyond. Some are daytime, some evening, some weekday, some weekend. Also available are occasional wine classes. For further information, contact the above number.

The New School of Cooking
8690 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 842-9702


Ramekins Sonoma Valley Culinary School
450 West Spain Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
( 707) 933-0450 ext. 3
Fax (707) 933-0451

Ramekins is in the Sonoma Valley, in the heart of the California wine country. It is the Valley's only learning facility dedicated to the education of the home cook, from the amateur to the aficionado. Ramekins Sonoma Valley Culinary School, opened in June, 1998 and has been filling classes with enthusiastic students, talented instructors and fabulous food. The premise of the school is to create an environment to celebrate the coming together of local agricultural bounty with culinary talents from Sonoma...a place to learn. And this has been successfully accomplished...just off the famous Sonoma Plaza. Also, Ramekins is the perfect location for team-building cooking classes, special occasion cooking class parties, meetings and weddings. And the six room Inn at Ramekins upstairs can make your experience complete.


Cooking School of the Rockies
637 So. Broadway, #H
Boulder, CO 80303
(303) 494-7988
(303) 494-7999 FAX
Email: jbrett3768@aol.com

Cooking School of the Rockies -- the perfect place to learn some valuable cooking skills and pick up some new ideas to make cooking at home easier and more enjoyable. Anyone can participate, from the experienced cook to the "kitchen-impaired" or "recipe-dependent." Classes range from a 5-week (25 hours) hands-on Basic Techniques Course to one evening class by local or visiting guest chefs. Topics cover everything from pizza, pasta, breads, wine tastings, low fat, vegetarian, pastry and baking, ethnic cuisines and knife skills. Some are demonstration classes and many are hands-on. Also available is a one-week Basic Techniques Intensives during the months of June and October. Registration is easy. It's a lot cheaper than therapy and more fun.


Chef Allen's
19088 NE 29th Avenue
North Miami Beach, Florida 33180
(305) 935-2900

If you live near Miami and like fusion cuisine, chef Allen Susser is your man. Each season, Susser teaches four three-course lunch classes highlighting his own special mix of Latin and Asian ingredients and classical techniques. Susser is on the cutting edge of New World Cuisine, a trend of increasing importance in the US today.


The Cooking Scene
The Georgia Lifestyles Learning Center
1790 Hembree Road
Alpharetta, Georgia
(770) 442-8053

Director Ray Overton and visiting experts teach approximately 20 classes a month at this site on the outskirts of Atlanta. Classes range from low fat creative cuisine to basic French techniques, Pacific rim food and Octoberfest to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Recipes.


Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago
361 West Chestnut
Chicago, Illinois 60610
(312) 944-0882

CHIC offers four to seven classes, both individual and series. Individual classes include garnishing, breadmaking, knife skills, pastry and Southeast Asian cooking. Series include the healthy gourmet, Italian regional and contemporary techniques.

Frontera Grill/Topolobampo
445 North Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois
(312) 661-1434

Next time you're in Chicago and in the mood for lessons in authentic Mexican cuisine, call Frontera Grill and see if chef Rick Bayless has any scheduled. Bayless does not run classes on a regular schedule. But in addition to teaching occasionally, he brings in some of the finest chefs from Mexico and translates as they teach.


un coup de main Cooking School
12695 Eggert Road
Dundee MI 48131

Living well and eating well happens when you cook well! Whether you are an experienced cook or not, this is an easy, joyful experience. All you really need is a discriminating palate and the hunger to learn. Small class size and hands-on in my kitchen. Located in Southeastern MI.


The Culinary Institute of Smoke Cooking
PO Box 163
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63702-0163
Fax/Phone (314) 334-4621

On the other hand, if you just want to stay home and learn the fine art of barbecue, contact Charlie Knote and the Culinary Institute of Smoke Cooking. Charlie will send you an eight-session correspondence course on smoke cooking along with his cookbook. The secret is that you have to appoint a mentor with some cooking sense to judge your work and send a grade sheet in to Charlie -- no close relatives allowed. Charlie is an experienced judge of barbecue contests and refuses to have much truck with current concerns over fats and red meats. He also claims that, vehement partisanships aside, there really isn't much difference between Texas and Kansas City barbecue. But don't get him started on North Carolina.

New Mexico

Santa Fe School of Cooking
116 West San Francisco Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
(505) 983-4511

A school specializing in southwest cuisine is a natural in this tourist-drenched town. Classes range from low-fat Mexican to traditional New Mexican. Special classes include a southwest breakfast and one which begins with a trip to the farmer's market. When you're finished at the school, step downstairs to the market for all the non-perishables you need to recreate the meals at home.

New York

De Gustibus at Macy's
The Great Cooks
343 East 74th Street, Suite 9G
New York, New York 10021
(212) 439-1714

Cook with the stars at Macy's De Gustibus. Some classes are arranged individually, far more of them in series. No surprise that the list is heavy with New York names -- New York is heavy with great chefs. However, out-of-towners show up as well. This fall's line-up includes Jean-Louis Palladin of Washington, DC, Jack McDavid of Philadelphia, Marcel Desaulnier of the Williamsburg and Michel Roux of the Waterside Inn in England.

The Institute of Culinary Education
50 West 23rd Street, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10010
Voice: (212) 847-0700 ext. 203
Fax: (212) 847-0722
email: tea@iceculinary.com

In 2001, after 26 years, New York City's landmark school for cooking, baking and culinary arts changed its name from the Peter Kump's New York Cooking School to The Institute of Culinary Education.

"The school has grown tremendously over the last five years," says its President, Rick Smilow. "We feel strongly that the new name better describes what we have become." Today, the school offers highly developed programs for career training, professional development, recreational cooking, wine education and special events.

"We also believe that the new name provides a better match with the school's current focus, and will be as enduring as the old name," says Smilow. In years past, Peter Kump's was best known for its recreational program. While the recreational program is still the most extensive in the nation, today the career programs are the centerpiece of the school's programming.

The name change is the culmination of a series of significant developments that The Institute of Culinary Education has accomplished in recent years, including physical relocation. After many years on East 92nd Street in Manhattan, in mid-1999 the school expanded and moved to 50 West 23rd Street. With 26,000 square feet of space spread over four floors and nine teaching kitchens operating day and night seven days a week, The Institute of Culinary Education has a unique profile.


In Good Taste
231 NW 11th Avenue (at the corner of 11th and Everett)
Portland, OR 97209

The scene is set. The sounds and smells of cooking are wonderfully pervasive. When you arrive at In Good Taste, located in Portland's fashionable Pearl District, you will hear happy laughter and chatter as guests enjoy a unique cooking experience. Glasses clink together as the excitement builds. You know that you are in for an evening of pampered learning as guest chefs, vintners, and other culinary talents share their knowledge about everything from the bounty of the Pacific Northwest to Mediterranean sea salts. Visit this food lover’s paradise for the best selection of Pacific Northwest wines, local and imported specialty foods, fabulous cookware, and a cooking experience to remember.

In Good Taste is locally owned and supports the local community.

In addition to a full calendar of classes, they provide corporate private events, teambuildings, and private parties.

Visit their website at www.ingoodtastestore.com for more information, a complete calendar of upcoming classes, and free recipes.


EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School
Cannon Beach is on the Coast about 1 1/2 hrs from Portland
188 S. Hemlock Street
Cannon Beach, OR

Owner chef Bob Neroni's experience includes stints in a number of the nation's top hotels, and his grandfather owned a well known Jewish deli on Delancey Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side.  His wife, Lenore Emery, herself an accomplished chef, along with sous chef Johnny Urbanati help stage a series of schools, demonstrations and dinners that provide rare treats for attendees.

A four hour FUNdamental class where all the basics are taught also offers a tasty lunch.  Other presentations include ideas for birthday parties for kids and adults, easy outdoor meals, omelets, vegetarian cooking styles and a more advanced professional series for cooks and chefs.  You can also browse in the kitchen supply and cookbook sections of the attractive hideaway, where local products are available.  Class prices are very reasonable.


Central Market Cooking Schools

Austin - Central Cooking School
North Lamar at 40th St.

Dallas - Cooking School
5750 E. Lovers Lane

Fort Worth Cooking School
Interstate 30 and Hulen

Houston Cooking School
Westheimer at Weslayan

Plano Cooking School
320 Coit Road

San Antonio Cooking School
Broadway at Patterson

Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy
4015 Ave Q
Galveston, TX 77550
(409) 763-6551 ext. 304

The Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy is located on beautiful Galveston Island, on the Gulf of Mexico, in Texas. They offer both an A.A.S. degree in Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management and Certificate programs in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. Evening and daytime are classes are available.


New England Culinary Institute
250 Main Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602-9720
(802) 223-6324

NECI offers cooking classes for both children and adults at its Montpelier and Essex sites. Also available are lecture series on wines and foods of different parts of the world. NECI periodically sponsors theme weekends at Essex. Guests stay at the inn and take classes organized around specific occasions or ingredients from NECI's own instructors and guest chefs.

Nancy Freeman is a San Francisco-based freelance writer whose food stories have appeared in the San Francisco Magazine, The Contra Costa Times, Filipinas and Morsels, a publication of the American Institute of Wine and Food.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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