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Great News- San Diego

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I'm going to have to write a mini-ode to this fabulous cookware store and cooking school, which I've been frequenting for over a year now. I can't really talk about the school part, since I haven't taken any classes, but I'm like a kid in a candy store with the retail area. They carry a variety of items from a range of sources. For instance, one can find items that they see in stores like Crate and Barrel or Sur La Table and they can find items that can be found at restaurant-supply stores. They're more expensive than the supply stores, I think, but cheaper than retail chains like C&B. The staff is friendly and pretty knowledgeable. If you're on the mailing list, there are occasional coupons in their mailings. Every now and then, they have a clearance sale where a mob gathers to pick up returned/used/unsaleable items at ridiculously low prices.

From their mailings, some of the classes look pretty cool, although I have to chuckle at the tour of 99 Ranch with Dim Sum lunch. For $60, one can take a tour of 99 Ranch with a dim sum lunch afterwards. I've taken friends on that same trip for free. Had I known it was a money-maker, I'd have charged. ;)

What do y'all think of Great News? Any other good cookware stores to recommend in SD?

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  1. I checked out some classes there. Overall, found them pretty disappointing. The weekday classes, during the day, seem better than the evening classes. One of the evening classes I went to had "wine pairing" with the food. This consisted of a choice between "red" and "white", and the wine was friggin 2 Buck Chuck. Lame, lame, lame.

    I do agree the equipment store is really impressive, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      Eeek! Two Buck Chuck? Noooo... I'll avoid anything that says "wine pairing".

      I was interested in their knife skills class, but wasn't sure if I wanted to pay for a class or study from a book/online videos and practice on my own. A friend took a class that involved group cooking. He was a little disappointed that he basically threw ingredients into a communal pot. I think they didn't do too much prep, either.

    2. After moving to Crown Point in July I have frequented Great News quite frequently. It is a great retail store. This past week I attended my first demonstration cooking class. It was a gift from my parents for Christmas and I attended with my mother. It was a Thai cooking class and my mom and I enjoyed it. It was probably below my actual skill level of cooking but since it was a cuisine that I generally eat but not cook it was very helpful. The instructor showed us various Thai ingredients and how to chop or use them properly including ghalanga (sp?) which was something I had seen but didn't know how to trim etc... The wine served was not fancy but the recipes were helpful and one of the salad dressings was probably the best dressing ever (no oil added and delicious). Since there are a lack of hands-on cooking classes this was worth it for a type of food that I was not familiar with cooking.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jturtle

        the ingredient you used was galangal.

        care to share that delicious salad dressing recipe...?

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks! I will give you not the ingredients--thai chillis, lime zest, lime juice, fish sauce, minced garlic & and brown sugar. They amounts were proportional.

      2. Their website doesn't exactly scream, "Great News." It looks like something that might be whipped up for a Renaissance Festival ad, or something along those lines... The classes are cheap enough, though, that it might be worth one's while to check out, especially if it's something new for you. Surely couldn't be the worst way to spend $40-$50.

        Recipes, Restaurants, Reviews and More - My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

        1. For kitchen equipment this is the best retail in San Diego - the price can be a bit steep but they have almost anything you need, and the service is not bad. I haven't taken any classes but I know some chefs that have taught and they were top notch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: juantanamera

            I love the place. My friends and I have done multiple classes. The ones done by local chefs (Deb Schneider, Brian Mallarkey, Chuck Samuelson, etc) are the best. Otherwise, you may end up in yet another "a jillion ways to cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts." But they do have classes for all levels of expertise, you just have to read the descriptions to see what suits you best. They do serve 2$ Chuck except at certain special pairing classes. I had some great Indian classes there too.

          2. I love Great News! You're right - it's a haven for all things 'cookware'. As far as classes, I have yet to take one there. However, I've heard rave reviews about their knife skills class. I've called a couple of times about it, and it fills up VERY fast.

            1 Reply
            1. re: phee

              I have taken the knife skills class and it was very good. I have also taken one of the cuisine classes and it wasn't that great - I think the key is to take the hands-on classes.

              The observation classes I've taken at the Prado were a little better - nicer setting and more fun - many of the same teachers. I just looked at their website and it looks like their prices have gone up though - to 60-70 bucks per class.

            2. I took a wonderful Thai cuisine class there and had a great time. Price wise, I thought it was reasonable. If you look at other cooking classes they can get really expensive. I got a full meal and copies of the recipes. The setup there are also amazing, tv's everywhere so you can see what the chef is doing.
              THe staff is wonderful and always helpful. Plus you get a discount on your bday! I like it better then Williams and Sonoma.

              1. Interesting tidbit... I purchased a high-priced item right before X'mas. Yesterday, I received a thank-you card from the associate who helped along with a 20% off coupon. Good customer service, eh? Even better marketing?