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Mar 1, 2004 12:03 PM

cooking classes

  • s

a friend and i are looking to take a couple fun cooking classes. we both love cooking and just looking for some new ideas. (we're not serious chefs)
don't want to spend a whole lot of money (less $100) . any suggestions?

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  1. Just took one, given to me as a gift, for which I understand the price was jsut under $100. It was taught at Grace's Marketplace, 71st & 3rd, by Micol Negrin (sp??) of Rustico Cooking. Fun, not too in depth, we made four dishes got the fast and easy on each. The website is linked below.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Captain

      Rustico Cooking is the worst "cooking class" EVER. We barely cooked - i spent $250 for a valentines evening to learn to make a seafood meal however learned NOTHING since verything was prepared already when we got there. all food was chopped and and sauce ingredients mixed, all we needed to do was spice it or throw it in the oven. a total joke. WHen i sign up for a cooking class, i expect to learn something. not be rushed to finish.
      I also overheard the owner making fun of group saying "i feel like im on an episode of the love boat" WELL, of course u do! ur hosting a couples valentines dinner!!!! you are supposed to make this a romantic event for people. not ruin it.

      we were given wine for a tasting - child portions. If i had known, i would have brought my own bottle. and worse of all, they served all wines white, red and rose, in the same glass!!

      it was a joke to say the least.

      The owner Micol Negrin and her subordinate husband are awful people with no social skills. She belittled a couple who asked a question and then had a hissy fit when she thought a drop of wine was thrown on her floor. I would expect that when you run a cooking school - u would expect it to get a bit dirty - no??? she came over in a panic windexing the floor during dinner.

      Oh and dinner - which none of us had a part in completing was COLD shrimp. it was terrible. thanks for nothing.
      i would love a refund.

      please NEVER GO THERE!

      If you are looking for an a better experience, go to the Culinary institute. that place is legit.

      1. re: sr2tok

        I've taken courses at both ICE and Rustico, and my experience was very different from yours.

        At ICE, the instructor showed how to prepare a variety of dishes, and then divided the class up, with separate groups designated to prepare a subset of the menu. It was good - and the recipes were fine - but you obviously didn't get to do everything; certainly this was better for couples (you could double your exposure). Wine was served with the meal, and the instructor was competent, though charmless and somewhat cold (the instructor's personality, I assume, will vary significantly from class to class - lots of different teachers here - so you might look for personal recommendations if you're planning to take a course here).

        OTOH, we recently took a pasta workshop at Rustico. Micol and her husband were warm and charming, and made the class feel very welcome - the atmosphere was great. The workshop consisted of three different pastas (a buckwheat tagliatelle, ricotta gnocci, and cavatelli) served with three different sauces, each meant to complement the specific pasta. Micol made sure that every person in the workshop had an opportunity to do each of the basic tasks of preparing each pasta; the sauces were managed more collaboratively. The meal was served with plenty of wine - bottles on the table to pour as one wished - and was excellent.

        ICE was fine, but Rustico was outstanding - I'd sooner return there, and plan to do so in the near future.

        1. re: sr2tok

          Hi sr2tok, I'm from Brazil and I had the opportunity to attend two culinary courses in Manhattan in june 2009:
          1) Rustico
          2) ICE - French Dishes
          Well I had fun in both of them, but I preferred 10 times more Rustico's classes than ICE's classes. Actually, Micol and her husband warmed the classes with a lot of attention, and, I'm sure, she cared if every one was 'hands-on' during each plate.
          Well, I'm not a serious culinary student, and I decided to take the course to have fun, improve my english and my cooking skills. I finished the Rustico classes totally satisfied with my previous expectations. By the way not only me, but my girlfriend as well.
          Then I think that the problem could have been what you expected and what you received...
          Or, In other way, they (Micol and her husband) have changed a lot. Honestly, I cannot belive in that behaivor change in so short period of time (from june up to february is just 8 months)...
          Take care and let's get fun in cooking!
          Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

      2. p

        Try contacting the New School. They have one-shot-deals that are not too expensive. For example, I took a three-hour class on making curries (one Thai, one Indian, one West Indian). It was great!

        1. I have not been to Peter Kump cooking school ( I think its called the Institute of Culinary Education)but know many people who have. Nothing but good things to say about the many classes offered.

          See link for types of courses and prices.


          1. My husband and his brother took a class upstairs from Dish (165 Allen Street) and run by Cheryl Perry, the chef there, and thought it was great. I looked at the offerings, and they had beginning cooking classes as well as theme classes based on books. My guys took the Interpeter of Maladies class and made some fantastic Indian food in a casual setting. I don't remember the price.

            1. I took a Fundamentals of Cooking class at the New School. It's an 8 week course. As you would suspect, the teacher makes a HUGE difference. If you find any courses that moderately interest you with Stephen Schmidt teaching, take 'em. Very cool, relaxed guy with a great attitude in the kitchen.