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Cooking Classes in SF?

Barbiedoll May 18, 2007 01:41 PM

Who is putting on really good cooking classes in SF? I've tried Tante Marie, Williams-Sonoma, and Rogue Chefs in Half Moon Bay. Any other suggestions?

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  1. farmersdaughter RE: Barbiedoll May 18, 2007 02:24 PM

    I recently took a hands-on knife skills class at Sur La Table on Maiden Lane (taught by Mike C.) which was excellent.

    Here are some other options.



    First Class Cooking

    TWO Restaurant (formerly Hawthorne Lane) has Saturday classes

    1. DezzerSF RE: Barbiedoll May 18, 2007 03:01 PM

      I'm taking a Thai cooking class next month with Kasma Loha-unchit.


      6 Replies
      1. re: DezzerSF
        wanderlust21 RE: DezzerSF Jun 14, 2007 01:36 AM

        Kasma's classes are very good. They will leave you cooking Thai that is as good, if not better than the Thai restaurants in SF. I took level one, she focused on ingredient selection and the Thai standards. Only drawback is that she has a pretty stern demeanor, if that matters to you.

        1. re: wanderlust21
          Louise RE: wanderlust21 Jun 14, 2007 07:45 AM

          Her classes are very interesting and packed with information. As for stern, well, she is very serious about authenticity and quality. I guess it's a matter of perception. She has some very devoted students, I am one of them, and the food is simply amazing, dishes you will *never* see in restaurants in the US. The camaraderie of the students is also very fun, it is nice to work hard together to make something and to sit down to enjoy the end product with a group of people who are as interested in food as I am.

          1. re: Louise
            wanderlust21 RE: Louise Jun 14, 2007 04:57 PM

            Yes, definitely a matter of perception. I didn't mean to knock her, just indicate it is serious and not a class like Tante Marie. So what levels have you attended? I'm curious to know how good the advanced classes are.

            1. re: wanderlust21
              Louise RE: wanderlust21 Jun 15, 2007 08:42 AM

              I am an advanced student from way back (< 1998). Currently I am taking Advanced A. This year I have also taken Advanced B and Advanced F. I took D last year but am not sure I have taken C, and am on the wait list for E this fall. Also I took a number of individual Advanced classes, before all these Advanced series got going.

              Several people besides myself have repeated one or more Advanced series. Michael will warn us if we have taken the class before, however I don't mind repeating classes at all. It is hardly a terrible sacrifice to once again eat chicken fat rice and two kinds of chive cakes with black soy sauce.

              I have found her classes uniformly excellent. As we progress, the techniques become more challenging, the ingredients more unusual, and the spicy foods spicier. However there are plenty of yummy non spicy foods as well--kanom krok, an excuse to buy an aebelskiver pan! Also it seems like we make more dishes, perhaps a function of being more comfortable with technique.

              I have not taken any of her intensives or any of her trips, though many in the past few classes have, and discuss having eaten this or that dish, such as roti or sour fish, in Thailand.

              1. re: Louise
                wanderlust21 RE: Louise Jun 15, 2007 04:04 PM

                Thanks for the info on the advanced classes. Sounds like the series is worthwhile. I cook very seldomly now, but it's probably worth it just enjoy the food at the end of each class!

          2. re: wanderlust21
            DezzerSF RE: wanderlust21 Jun 14, 2007 07:09 PM

            The class has been great so far, I especially like the way we taste test after every ingredient is added. It has helped invaluably, especially with the Thai ingredients I have never cooked with before. Just yesterday I cooked my first two dishes at home: Spicy Basil Chicken (Pad Gkaprow Gai) & Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Dtom yum Gkoong). They turned out excellent, mostly because of the hands on training we get during class.

            I would agree about her seriousness with authenticity, but she does have a great sense of humor as well! Highly recommended!

        2. t
          teresalynne RE: Barbiedoll May 18, 2007 03:21 PM

          Parties That Cook (http://partiesthatcook.com/) is a cooking party/team building company that holds themed cooking classes, I think generally at the Union Square Sur La Table - a friend of mine just went to an "appetizer" cooking class and thought it was really well done.

          1. s
            sailorbuoys RE: Barbiedoll May 18, 2007 04:26 PM

            If you're really attached to SF, then what you've done is great. But there's a new kid in town in the east bay, http://www.pauldingandco.com/calendar...

            I took a knife sharpening class there that was great.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sailorbuoys
              Mr_J RE: sailorbuoys May 18, 2007 06:09 PM

              I've had a gift certificate to First Class Cooking since December an have been unable to get into a class. Everytime I sign up for one it's full...no luck at all. Too bad, I've heard the classes are good...

              1. re: Mr_J
                honu RE: Mr_J May 19, 2007 07:56 AM

                My friend took a Thai cooking class with Kasma Loha-unchit and had a great time. I hope to take a Sur La Table class one day.

                1. re: honu
                  rworange RE: honu May 19, 2007 10:42 AM

                  That reminds me that Saffron Gourmet on Solano in Albany has Persian cooking classes. IIRC, someone on the board took the class and was happy with it ... but no guarantee about that.

                  Also ... there's Kitchen on Fire in Berkely ... here's one report

              2. re: sailorbuoys
                bakergirl RE: sailorbuoys Jul 8, 2008 03:36 PM

                Terry, at Paulding and Co., A Creative Kitchen, teaches great classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her summer classes are open for enrollment now.


                As sailorbuoys said, she is located in Emeryville, just over the bridge from SF. She offers a series of classes that she teaches herself, after years of teaching at the Piedmont Adult school. In addition she offers single classes on specific subjects which are taught by a wide range of teachers and local chefs. Check out her website, http://www.pauldingandco.com/ to see everything she does. She even taught the animators of Ratatouille how to cook!

              3. l
                Louise RE: Barbiedoll Jun 13, 2007 04:04 PM

                There's also Laurie's Culinary Camp on Park St in Alameda.

                1. Lori SF RE: Barbiedoll Jun 13, 2007 05:40 PM

                  this months sf magazine list some of the best ones, they all sound wonderful..even a knife sharping class from some guy that has 7,000 knives.

                  1. g
                    gtchow RE: Barbiedoll Jun 14, 2007 12:36 AM

                    SF culinary also offers cooking classes. i haven't taken a class myself, but here's the website: www.sfculinary.com.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gtchow
                      sflegs RE: gtchow Jul 9, 2008 04:58 PM

                      I took one and it was great! Highly recommend it. Hands on experience and they don't treat you like an idiot. Much better than the classes I've had at Whole Foods or Williams Sonoma.

                    2. t
                      tigersmom RE: Barbiedoll Jun 14, 2007 05:15 PM

                      I have taken quite a few classes a Emily Dellas. Emily is more of a nutritionist rather than a trained chef. She focuses of local, healthy ingredients and uses organic whenever possible. The food is high on protein and fresh veggies and fruits. You wont find a lot of pasta, or potatoes or rice. She always has made me feel welcome especially since I often go alone. she relies on everyone to participate to make sure the meal is prepared and eaten within the two hour time frame. If you are not someone who takes initiative, you wont get the best out of the class. Her classes do fill up quickly but she has such a wide variety of menus, I am always able to find something.

                      1. davina RE: Barbiedoll Jun 14, 2007 05:59 PM

                        I haven't taken a class from her, but Shuna Lydon -- of Eggbeater -- teaches classes, and she gets good reviews. A schedule of her summer classes is here:

                        1. p
                          pockyjunkie RE: Barbiedoll Jun 17, 2007 02:32 PM

                          I had a rockin' Indian class at CCA (California Culinary Academy). Their pastry classes are also loved and popular.

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