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Sep 9, 2004 04:48 PM

Bay area cooking classes for gift?

  • n

We are getting our foodie bicoastal friend a dinner at the James Beard House in NY. We also want to get him a Bay Area gift and were considering cooking classes. We have about $200-300 to spend. Any recommendations? Ive looked at the Ramekins and Relish classes (both in Sonoma) so far.

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  1. My friends got me a certificate for a Sur la Table class (in Berkeley), and although I haven't used it yet, a lot of the classes on their schedule sounded good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AppleSister

      The beginning Knife Skills class at Sur La Table in Berkeley was excellent, probably the most useful cooking class I've ever taken. I also took the Intermediate course, but it wasn't as informative. Courses on these nuts-and-bolts skills are really worth it -- you just can't replicate that kind of experential learning by watching cooking shows on TV.

      Sur La Table offers lots of great courses, including ones led by visiting or local celebrity chefs. You could probably get your friend a gift certificate there, which they could use for either courses or cooking items.

      1. re: beanbag

        My favorite cooking class has been Indian cooking with Ruta Kahate. I've participated in three classes so far (plus one "observation only" at Sur la Table with her as well). Lots of fun, much to learn.

    2. I took a class through Piedmont Adult School at Terry Pauling's "Creative Kitchen" in Emeryville.

      While slightly basic, I found her recipes to be strong, her technique lessons solid and the atmosphere really fun & collaborative. Terry herself was a great teacher, very down to earth, and clearly loves to cook.

      The website for the kitchen is posted below.


      1. j
        Joan Kureczka

        If he likes Italian, Tante Marie hosts an annual set of 3 demo classes by Guliano Bugialli every March. They fill up quickly though, so if you are interested in that I advise checking it out asap.

        1. Another excellent class, taken by friends of mine who then passed the precious knowledge along to me, is offered by a Thai woman in her home in the East Bay. The green curry recipe they taught me is the best green curry I have had outside of Thailand, and they taught me to make it!

          Also see link below for recipes and brand recommendations.


          2 Replies
          1. re: AppleSister

            Kasma Loha-unchit is very well thought of as a cooking teacher and tour leader. I know a number of people who have really enjoyed her classes, including my mom, who then gave them to her sister. If you're interested in Thai, I think this would be a great choice.

            Her website is also a great resource for those interested in cooking Thai food.

            1. re: AppleSister

              I second this recommendation.

              I loved her classes and I can't wait to take more of them. The green curry recipe is my favorite also. I thought about bringing it to the chow picnic last year, but decided it would be too difficult to keep warm.

            2. If you post your direct email address I can send you some information about cooking classes that I am teaching.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sailorbuoys

                I would love to hear about these classes - though I am not the orginal poster...