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Jun 19, 2008 07:54 PM

looking for phila cooking classes

who better to ask than the local chowhounds - hope this is OK.

i'm looking for a career change and where i'm thinking of heading it would be really beneficial to brush up on cooking, bartending, general food knowledge. by no means a 4-year degree like some programs i've looked at; something more along the lines of a once-weekly class lasting for a semester. i need to learn cooking basics, plus get a few more stellar dishes under my belt. any recommendations?


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  1. Reading Terminal Market has good classes (well my son likes em):

    And Foster's has some too:

    All of the classes are through Temple:

    1 Reply
    1. Try the Restaurant School at 42 & Walnut.

      1. Rabidog,
        The restaurant business is BRUTAL. Before changing careers, perhaps it is best to work in a BUSY restaurant for a few weeks. This business can really stress your relationships, your health and your sanity. If you decide to cross over, many local community colleges have culinary programs considered to be excellent that allow you to study part-time and work full time. Philadelphia and Bucks County Community Colleges are very well respected as is Atlantic County Community College. Good luck!

        1. You may be interested in checking out the Viking Cooking School, located in Bryn Mawr. They offer hands on classes in a variety of topics/themes, as well as demonstrations. I have taken a few classes these (both demo and hands on) and found them to be worth the money. For the hands-on classes, you work in teams and you get to use all kinds of amazing Viking gadgets. You get to eat all the food made in class, keep the recipes, and get a coupon to use in the store.

          1. Maybe, you might consider volunteering at a restaurant near you.Nothing beats hands on...somebody might take you on a day a weekchopping, slicing, never know..

            3 Replies
            1. re: GBak504

              thanks for the advice, all! it's much appreciated and i'll probably take all of it in bits and pieces! :)

              for the record i'm not doing anything nearly as exciting as going right into the resto business (i'm probably not that daring!). my current job is a pleasant mix of personal assistant / event planner - but my boss is retiring so i'm taking the opportunity to start my own business doing the same, freelance personal assistant and event planning (except my services would be aimed at individuals and small businesses as opposed to my current mid-sized company). i thought it would be smart to brush up on all related skills (cooking, bartending) over the next few months while i am still gainfully employed!! ;)

              LOVE the idea of volunteering at a restaurant! i spend a lot of time with friends up on liberties walk, and i know the folks at a full plate cafe also run a catering business out of their shop which might be a neat place to brush up on skills!
              (speaking of a full plate cafe... in totally unrelated news, they are opening up a pizza parlor across the street! pretty sure it will be in the gourmet pizza vein)

              anyway, thanks all, for all the great advice! i'll definitely be looking into these... and i'll be sure to report back on where the good meals are!! :)

              1. re: rabidog

                FYI - I took the pizza class at Foster's with Jeff Michaud from Osteria and he said anyone was welcome to join him in his kitchen, just call a day in advance

                1. re: Bigley9

                  hrm, interesting!! you know, while overall i wasn't all over osteria, i did enjoy the margherita pizza's smoky, unique flavor. that might be one of my definite classes! :) (and maybe i could talk to him about putting some more inspired vegetarian dishes out there, haha! (just kidding, i'd be way too meek & mild to go there!))