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May 4, 2009 02:07 PM

New Orleans Cooking School

Is the New Orleans Cooking School legit or just a tourist trap? Any other ideas for something similar?

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  1. Troy,

    If you're referring to the New Orleans School of Cooking, on St. Louis, I'd have to say "a little bit of both".

    My wife and I have been twice.

    It is NOT a hand's on experience, if that's what you're seeking. It is several tables set up and the presenter cooks for you while walking you through the processes.

    We had Michael, both times, and were thrilled. His recipes come with a well presented history of NOLA, explaining the various cultures that so wonderfully contributed to Cajun and Creole cuisine.

    The presentation we attended (same one twice and glad for it) taught us: Gumbo, Jambalaya, Bread Pudding, and Pralines.

    I can honestly say that we, as a couple of pastey Wisconsinites, make a mean Gumbo and Jambalaya as a result of Michael's inspiration.

    If you're looking for hard-core cuilinary instruction, with a hands-on experience, this is not the class for you, however.

    Good luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Monch

      I agree 100% with this assessment. We had Big Kevin as the presenter (Now one of the owners at L'il Dizzy's on Poydras); he was informative and a whole lot of fun. Aside from everything else, you get a really good meal out it at a pretty good cost.

      It is "N.O. Cooking 101", but we enjoyed it very much.

      (Also a Wisconsinite)

      1. re: Fydeaux

        Me too....I've been cooking the recipes (especially the gumbo) that I learned at the New Orleans School of Cooking (when it was in a different location) for close to twenty years. I still remember the class (our instructor was Chris) and its wonderful introduction to Cajun cooking.

    2. I'm local, and it's fun, FWIW. believe we got a taste of what was cooking and a cold Abita, so it can't be all bad.

      1. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the best cooking school in the city is the New Orleans Cooking Experience at the House on Bayou Road. I am a huge fan of their program and take everyone who comes to visit me to a class if time allows. I'm in no way affiliated- I just love the intimate setting and great chefs who teach. Plus touring the mini-plantation is a great way to get some "touristy" value out of the night.

        5 Replies
        1. re: chef4hire

          seems overpriced to me - $150 per person -- defenitely doesn't seem worth it.

          sample menu i pulled from website're telling me $300 for a couple is worth this maybe $75 meal come on

          Chiqui Collier, 5:30 dinner class on Friday, April 10th:
          BBQ Shrimp
          Crab & Corn Bisque
          Catfish Pecan Meuniere, mashed potatoes
          Strawberry Shortcakes with Chantilly Cream

          1. re: radman123

            absolutely worth every penny...without a doubt...that's how good it is

            class starts at around 5:15 and I've never left before 10 or 11~ the entire evening includes unlimited wine and beer service and the lesson is hands on (class is limited to 10 ppl) during a mid-evening break you are given an entertaining history of the area and a tour of the plantation...then on to a formal dining room for a full service 5 or 6 course dinner...afterwards wine/coffee by the pool and copies of the recipes/instructions and maybe an autographed cookbook

            I never flinch at writing the check or giving up the credit card... $300 for Frank Brigtsen to cook my entire meal (and sit and chat for 5 hours) is totally worth it to me

            1. re: chef4hire

              I'm writing an article about cooking schools as a fun tourist activity. I'd love to talk w/ someone who has been & enjoyed NO Cooking Experience--maybe you, chef4hire?

              And I'm new to chowhound, not sure if there's any way to contact members privately / directly, also not sure if merely attempting is a gaffe. My apologies if it is... but I invite responses.


              1. re: hungrypdxer

                I'm going to the Frank Brigtsen event on April 15. Apparently, his classes fill up a couple of months in advance.

                Brigtsen's Restaurant
                723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                1. re: hungrypdxer

                  I am happy to hear someone writing an article about this...I am planning a trip and want to include cooking (ofcourse, it is New Orleans!) and have heard of 3 and can not decide? NO Cooking Experience seems high cost, NO School of Cooking I just do not know and a new one called Cook New Orleans...I have no idea???
                  I have been watching and looking for post and took some advice and just peruse the "chow" for ideas...Still planning and leaning towards Cook New Orleans...I'll let everyone know when I decide!