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Cooking classes as holiday gifts

Benjamin2008 Dec 12, 2007 08:54 AM

Can anyone recommend chef/restaurant-sponsored cooking class in the area? L'Academie classes are "okay" but... I'm looking for something a "foodie" would enjoy. Not sure if Tosca still offers Saturday classes, but that's an indicative of what I'm looking for. Thanks.

  1. ktmoomau Dec 12, 2007 09:23 AM

    I have always wanted to take the knife skills class at L'Academie. I know you said you wanted something more foodie but of all classes I could take it would be my pick. I would check and see if Bebo still has its classes with Robert Donna.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau
      keithdcil Dec 12, 2007 09:55 AM

      I saw a cooking class going on two weeks ago at Bebo. I think it was a Tuesday night. I quickly read the cooking class schedule at the hostess stand and it did have saturday classes. I am sure if you called them they would fax or email a schedule to you. There were a dozen people cooking at a counter with R.D. The students had there own little burner and skillet and they were drinking wine - looked like lots of fun.

      1. re: keithdcil
        katecm Dec 17, 2007 10:33 AM

        My husband got me this for my birthday. Donna has several classes a week - we did the Saturday night date night, which was just six people total and a lot of wine! They were incredibly hospitable, it ended up being seven courses plus prosecco, white wine and red wine with the meal. I can also attest to the fact that you're really, seriously cooking. It's not just a demonstration.

        I HIGHLY recommend it.

    2. chowser Dec 12, 2007 11:42 AM

      I've had my eye on cooking classes at 2941. They look great but I don't see any on their site right now.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser
        ktmoomau Dec 12, 2007 11:43 AM

        They might not be still doing them since they switched chefs and the new new chef will be coming in soon.

      2. scotcheroo Dec 12, 2007 01:35 PM

        My SO and I had a wonderful "date night" class at Sur La Table in Pentagon Row. They often have some significant chefs teach the classes... our was taught by Ris LaCoste

        3 Replies
        1. re: scotcheroo
          RJJR Dec 13, 2007 03:40 AM

          Good friends gave me a class last year. It was sponsored by Anne Arundel Community College and it was a one night class called Cooking at the Fishermans Inn. It went back room into the Kitchen @ FI on Kent Island. It was approx. 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the kitchen, and then approx 45 minutes to 1 hour of eating everything we made and drinking some good wine. The Chefs were terrifiic, and I ended up purchasing a class for my wife also and we had a great date night. If I remember correctly it cost $40.00 for the night per person. Also afterwards they gave you copies of all of the recipes we made during class so we could make them at home.

          1. re: RJJR
            bordeauxfan Dec 13, 2007 05:07 AM

            I've given classes as presents to my sister in Atlanta at the Viking range store. I'm pretty sure their store in Tysons Corner offers similar offerings. Check Viking's website.

          2. re: scotcheroo
            Elyssa Dec 13, 2007 05:22 AM

            I took a pie making class at Sur La Table and thought it was only so-so. It felt overcrowded. There were 6 (!!) people per pie. Which basically meant I didn't get a full hands on experience for each step, which I really needed.

            There were 2 people in my group who had taken a number of classes at L'Academia and said it was much better. That's where I'm planning to go when I take a class next.

            The one really nice thing about Sur La Table is the discount you get for the week to buy anything in the store. I think its like 15-20% which is nice.

          3. j
            Jeserf Dec 13, 2007 05:28 AM

            I believe you can reserve cooking classes at Equinox. I also believe Chef Grey has a "tour" where you go to the penn quarter market with him, pick out stuff, and learn what to cook with it.

            Not sure you could get a gift certificate for it, but it's worth a try because that sounds awesome.

            1. ktmoomau Dec 13, 2007 06:41 AM

              The Washington Post Website always has a huge list of cooking classes in the food and dining website by the way.

              1. KWynn Dec 13, 2007 10:00 AM

                I really like the classes at L'Academie. Someone bought us a gift certificate from there for our wedding and we used it earlier this year. Since then we've made an effort to try a new class once a season. Also, they do periodically have special "celebrity" chef classes available. They just came out with the new schedule so I'd suggest checking it out on their website (lacademie.com).

                1. f
                  foodiemc Dec 17, 2007 07:48 AM

                  Hi. I was actually looking at getting my husband a gift certificate to L'Academie ... can you tell me more about why you think it is just 'okay'? Thanks ...

                  1. t
                    toodles Dec 18, 2007 12:16 PM

                    I was looking at Bebo, Lebanese Taverna, L'Academie, and Sur la Table and did not find anything that really struck me as the kind of gift I wanted to give my friend for Christmas.

                    First off- Lebanese Taverna would be perfect- aside from the fact that they are closing up shop, as far as their cooking classes are concerned, until next March!

                    Bebo was very pricey and since I am a notoriously horrible cook, I felt the $110/class pricetag was a bit excessive. They are still holding classes though and it seemed like a great experience.

                    Sur la Table, and L'Academie seemed too much like a "Michaels" handy-work class. They seemed rather technical and did not provide the sort of ambiance I wanted for a romantic Christmas gift.

                    Luckily, I stumbled upon Tastedc.com which offered a list of cooking classes in various restaurants and venues throughout the DC-metro area. The classes ranged in class anywhere from $68-$105 and start as soon as January. I finally settled on a "gourmet pizza" class, which I am very excited to attend!

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