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Cooking classes? (Calgary)

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I have somone to shop for this Christmas that would really like tickets to a cooking class and maybe if possible wine tasting too type thing.

Does anyone have any suggestions or recomendations of what places might be the best for this? Don't think type of food matters too much. Pretty flexible.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I have heard good things about the classes at Boca Loca, however I haven't been to one myself. I'm not sure if the website is current.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Dan2007

      We took 8 people from the office to Boca Loca last May for the Everyday Mexican class. Even the folks who were skeptical about Mexican Food were readily converted to fans. Excellent instruction, friendly atmosphere and everyone learned something new. Mmmmmmmmmm.


    2. Williams Sonoma used to offer some basic technique classes. Has anyone attended one? I was interested in a knife skills class, but couldn't make it. A cynical friend said that it would probably just be like a live-action infomercials for their products.

      1. As mentioned here and seconded, thirded and fourthed, cookbook co is the place to look.

        Having said that, there are also cooking classes of the same one-off variety (by which I mean that they are not "courses") at the midtown market Calgary Co-op and at Sunterra in TCPL building downtown.

        You can also take cooking courses at SAIT- my partner did sommelier one (not a cooking course but still) and will do two there starting January- there are tests and such but obviously a great resource!

        4 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          SAIT has a very broad and deep offering of classes—from bread made with a specific type of flour to high-heat techniques for meat. I've been saving up to take a class there on bread or Indian cuisine. Judging from the quality of the food that comes out of the Highwood kitchen, I'd say the classes should be quite informative and thorough. (Not that one could become a restaurant-quality chef by taking one class!)

          If you're looking for a mountain locale to go along with the class, Fuze in Banff also offers cooking classes.

          1. re: John Manzo

            what did you partner think of the sommelier class? i've been wanting to do that for a couple years now and hope to actually do it this year.

            1. re: pants

              Loved it- enough to sign up for level 2, but you have to write exams :-)

              1. re: John Manzo

                i would like wine to be my next career so i'm up for exams

          2. I also had a good experience at Cookbook Co. on 11th ave. We went there with our department at work for a "team building" activity. We split off into groups, each with a different recipie, had a demonstration of various knife and preparation techniques, and then enjoyed some wine while preparing our respective dishes. Although I would have liked to have seen more of the other preparations, at the end we did sit down for a meal to enjoy everything that our co-workers prepared so we did get to see how everything turned out.

            The staff at the venue was top notch - incredibly helpful and fun. The only complaint I have is that the instructing chef, although very knowledgable, was, to put it bluntly, a total jerk. Now maybe he was just having a bad day or he was just tired of dealing with amateur chefs, but he was rude, impatient, and condescending to all of the participants. And then, when the class was over, he made a complete about face and was as sweet as can be when it came time for him to make his pitch for us to sign up for his other classes.

            That said, I sent my parents to a day long seminar there as well, and they had a different guest chef and nothing but good things to say about their experience.

            1. I have taken the Cook Book Co. course for knife skills - both of them. I think they have a great staff and are full of resources (however, I would never recommend the knife skills course to anyone who can read and has a friend who knows how to remotely hold a knife!). I have never taken a 'cooking' course at the book co., per se, but judging from the set up of their kitchen, would look really fun, esp. with a partner.

              I also suggest checking into places like Willow Park down south and the Kensington Wine Market for classes and tastings. Each have a full schedule of events throughout the year (but seem to get booked early on). Willow Park I highly recommend, especially if you are looking for a couple hours of tasting really neat stuff, scotches / ports / whiskeys - some you might never have a chance to - (however, keep in mind the focus is the drink, probably not the food). I've heard mucho great things about their events. Links to both below:

              1. I had a really bad experience at the Cookbook Company. It was an Indian cooking class. Basically the class (about 30) split up into groups of 5, and each group was told to prepare a single large dish from the instructor's cookbook. In the end, the whole class would have dinner + wine.

                There was hardly any instruction (just generic tips such as "I grind my own spices!" from the instructor, who stayed at the front of the room), and not enough work to go around. Preparing the ingredients with my wife + 3 strangers was more of an exercise in management and people skills than in cooking. Basically, the pushiest people did all the work. The cooking itself was done by a single team member under the supervision (and with the helping hand) of the instructor.

                I got the feeling that the class was more for middle-aged people to socialize than for teaching people like me to actually cook Indian food and understand the techniques. There were more than a few people sipping coffee and wandering around.

                In the end, eating food made by these other people seemed totally unappetizing, and I certainly wasn't learning anything peeling potatoes and following a recipe out of a book, so we left before dinner was served. I wonder whether there was enough food to go around anyway. Now, essentially, we have two very expensive copies of the instructor's cookbook.

                4 Replies
                1. re: 23skidoo

                  Any thoughts on where there may be decent sushi making classes that you can take a 12 year old too? My goddaughter is a budding foodie and I thought it would be a great xmas present this year for her and I together.

                  1. re: cmanten

                    I would try a class at SAIT, but sushi is not always offered. From the classes I've taken there, the age ranges seem broad, but I haven't seen anyone younger than a teen. The quality of instruction, supporting materials, and ingredients are very high.

                    1. re: cmanten

                      Sakana grill also does sushi making classes. I participated in one last fall, at the downtown Sakana location. You can call the restaurant ((403) 290-1118) to inquire when they're having the next course, and what it costs. You make enough sushi to feed 4 or 5 people, and they serve refreshments. There isn't much one-on-one instruction as there was about 20 people in my class. The chef demonstrates how to make a certain roll, and then you try it yourself. All supplies are included, and you take home your rolling mat.

                      1. re: joannaf

                        Go to Banff and take in a hands on cooking class at Fuze in Banff. Besides, hotels there are cheaper now too.

                  2. Hi, I heard that the Superstore in Deerfoot Meadows has cooking classes for adults and kids! They even do kids cooking birthday parties. Fantastic prices and it's a great date night out. My friend went to one and they said you sit and watch in most but not all, and you have the recipes in front of you, as the chef makes everything! Then you eat all the food and go home with the recipes. They do Indian, Thai, American, Baking, all sorts. Go into the store and upstairs outside the cooking classroom is all the info. Plus I heard they will be online very soon. Which we all love! Check it out, Im signed up for their next class on Sunday Dec 13th!