cooking class in raleigh,durham area
I do not live in NC but would like to give classes as a gift. Does anyone have experience with classes/schools in the area? I found the ones offered but no reviews. Chez Bay and Southern seasons seem to be well advertised however that doesn't mean they are the best classes.
Thank you for your recommendations. I would appreciate any comments about your experiences of classes you attended.
I've taken more than a half-dozen of the demo classes, and have enjoyed the professionalism and the information. My wife and I have been asking for such gift certificates from the kids for several years, and think you can't go wrong given all the choices. (My favorite class was the one with the three sous-chefs from Magnolia Grill, Bloomsbury Bistro, and the Carolina Inn, though a session with Ben and Karen Barker of Magnolia Grill is never to be missed.)
If you have an interest in Italian, the cooking classes at Capri Flavors are a lot of fun. Very social, great food, and a family style dinner at the end. Titina is wonderful and very entertaining. The classes are also pretty reasonably priced.
There are four rotating menus and classes on are Mondays and Fridays. Web site is www.capriflavors.com if you want to check it out.
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I have taken two classes at Chez Bay. The first was pretty interesting, it was Dumplings of Different Cultures ( or something similar), the instructor was knowledgable and there were a few recipes I would repeat.
The second was on curry and I knew more then the teacher (which isn't saying much) and all of the curry pastes we used came from "A taste of Thai" jars.
I would classify both classes as for beginners with little previous cooking experience required. They are group classes with a group dinner at the end of the night and seem to be geared towards couples. Each class has about 10 recipes around a theme with the students picking which recipe they want to work on. So while the entire menu may be interesting, you will only really know the one recipe you worked on.
All in all I had fun but did not come away terribly informed and if you are planning on giving it to someone who is a serious cook you may want to try something else.
The Durham academy offers cooking classes:
I haven't taken any yet, but I am signed up for one in January. I've also heard good things about the CapriFlavors cooking classes. You can see the little kitchen they have set up for the classes when you go in the store - it looks really nice.
I took the biscuits class at Southern Season back in February this year. The kitchen/classroom setup is excellent and the two instructors are very knowledgeable and it's a hands on class. It was definitely worthwhile taking the class even though it took me two attempts to get a place (the biscuits class is very popular).
The class size isn't too big either. There were about 22 people and the group was split into two and each smaller group spent time with each instructor and their differing biscuit recipes.