Photograph: istockphoto.com © kzenon
Whether your friends don’t trust you to make ice or constantly beg to be invited over for your specialty dishes, there is always room to improve in the kitchen. Ever tried your hand at paella? Want to teach the little ones to make more than a mess? Afraid to boil water unsupervised? At the very least, these classes will boost your confidence in your culinary abilities. At best, your dining room table will now have the hottest seats in the house.
What’s that? You can whip up that Barcelona Restaurant level deliciousness you look forward to on date night at home? And stay in your comfy clothes? Well, we wouldn’t say these cooking classes are pajama party approved, but you will definitely have an epic night in when you learn to make black truffles and rabbit pâté for your sweetheart or invite the gang over to reap the benefits of your new craft beer pairing knowhow. Barcelona has locations in Fairfield, Greenwich, New Haven, South Norwalk, Stamford, and West Hartford, and all of them offer classes (in addition to tastings and live music). Learn to make chicken pimientos or make mozzarella and ricotta from scratch (seriously). Classes stay affordable at $30-50 per person. Make a reservation at (203) 983-6400, and check out Barcelona’s full events calendar.
Getting a restaurant reservation for six can be tricky (and noisy), and entertaining at your place can mean stressful, last minute super cleaning. Get the cozy, at-home experience, the royal treatment of going out to eat with a group, and learn a thing or two about your taste buds at Karen Brownlow’s pad in Westport. A catering connoisseur and New York Restaurant School graduate, Karen knows what she’s doing in the kitchen and keeps things fresh with new recipes. Classes are for six people maximum, so reserve a night out with your girl group or make some new friends in a more intimate class setting. Sipping wine, listening to Karen explain the process while you sit around her kitchen table, and tasting from hundreds of mouth-watering recipes? Beats ordering takeout any day. Students can even build their own class and choose five dishes from any of her fantastic themed menus. Classes start at $70, but the experience, keeping your own kitchen clean, and the recipe packets you get to take home make it all worth it.
Beat the burnt grilled cheese blues early. Aux Delices Cooking School offers classes for children as young as three years old (mom or dad have to come too, of course). From special Valentine’s Day dinners to upping your comfort food game, Aux Delices offers something for everyone. Head over to their Stamford class location or have them show you how to turn on that oven of yours. Eggplant Parmesan and ricotta cookies sounds a lot better than the mud pie your little guy tried to persuade you to taste last week. Stir fry and chocolate cake are the tasty creations teens can cook up – and will ward off the Ramen noodle crutch come college. Adult classes are $125 and kid classes are $65.
Boot camp has never been this delish. Kids, teens, and adults are put in a crash course of cooking with love at AMG Catering & Events. Their summer program for chefs in training teaches teens to create a three-course lunch as well as Thanksgiving and Cinco de Mayo-worthy feasts. Their couples classes sold out this past Valentine’s Day (the sweet and savory crepes on the agenda were the likely culprit). In addition, AMG offers a 12-week weight management class ($360) that teaches participants to prep and eat smart. Lose a few lbs (the right way) and bring home a newfound knowledge of your favorite foods (not to mention delicious recipes to replace the dreaded “diet” word). Adult classes range from $78 to $90 each, and the state-of-the-art Wilton facility reminds beginners that they’re in good hands.