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Feb 5, 2009 02:28 PM

Looking for cooking classes

I am looking for a weekend or series of cooking classes to take to learn how to make good food, and meet new people. Can anyone recommend a place to take classes?

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  1. Sur La Table at Pentagon City has regular classes. Also Saran, the Indian restaurant at 5157 Lee Highway in Arlington, does Indian cooking classes from time to time on an ad hoc basis. You can call and see if they have any planned in the near future.

    1 Reply
    1. re: klaus

      I took a Sur La Table cooking class and was a little disappointed. There are WAY too many people in the class so you really don't learn the individual steps. We had 5 people working on one pie (it was a pie making class). I only got to personally do every 5th step, so by the time I got home I had a lot of trouble recreating the dishes and practicing the "skills" that I was suppose to have learned.

      The recipes were good and the instructor was nice enough, but I personally like smaller classes.

      Plus I went by myself and found that almost everyone there was with a friend/partner/sister they weren't as interested as meeting other people. (I originally signed up for the same reasons you did. Plus I had just seen "Waitress" and wanted to learn how to make pies from scratch :) ) If I went again I would take a friend with me.

    2. I've been thinking of taking some basic classes as well. Two schools I've seen recommended on here before are L'Academie de Cuisine (, which has classes in Bethesda and Gaithersburg, and For the Love of Food ( in Reisterstown. I think L'Academie looks great, but it's a bit far from Baltimore, and a bit pricier. Does anyone have experience with either?

      4 Replies
      1. re: notmandatory

        I've taken plenty of classes at L'Academie de Cuisine including their 20 week cooking 101 class. I really enjoyed them. Their Bethesda location was a bit cramped. I have not been since they expanded it. Their Gaithersburg location is great. That is where they run their professional program. They have multiple kitchens and each one is huge. They also have classrooms designed for demonstrations which is really nice. No need to crowd around a small table.

        1. re: jongchen

          I second L'Academie. And they have a huge variety of classes.

          La Cuisine in Alexandria also has classes. They're small but good.

        2. re: notmandatory

          We did L'Acedemie's demonstration dinner in the theater kitchen in Bethesda about a year ago. It's not a hands- on class but you get to eat every course as they cook it and they serve lot's of wine. They offer these on Friday nights once or twice a month and they have themes like Asian, Italian (ours was a fish dinner) and they sell out fast. We keep meaning to go back. I have also heard their knife skills classes are very good.

          1. re: keithdcil

            the knife skill classes are superb,sell out in a flash

        3. DC is working in some cooking classes.We gifted our daughter with 2 .She really liked the format/size/teacher of both.
          I think highly of L'Academie de Cuisine,For The Love of Food and Chef's Expressions in
          there are many good classes and groups in the area,keep asking

          UPDATE I just got an email notice about a cooking class update/offer

          1. I had a great experience taking cooking classes with Arlington County Adult Education. I didn't know much about Indian food, so I took a class with a really sweet grandmotherly lady whose name I do not recall. There were about 12 people in the class, and we'd all work together to make a meal with the teacher's help and then sit down to eat it. So you figure for the cost of the course, you're also getting six dinners.

            It wasn't as chi-chi as Sur La Table, but I thought it was a terrific value. And they really do have a lot of different types of cuisine (French, Japanese, Thai) that you might not be able to tackle on your own if you're unfamiliar with the ingredients or techniques.

            Here's a link to the current course catalogue:


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