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Intensive weekend cooking classes?

mr_darcy Sep 27, 2009 11:48 PM

Any recommendations for weekend cooking classes in the Bay Area? I'm specifically looking for classes where I can hone a specific technique to perfection and really get a solid grasp of the scientific principles behind it, rather than the more fun-focused classes where you cook a meal with everyone and eat it at the end, which seem more designed to just get your feet wet.


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  1. wolfe RE: mr_darcy Sep 28, 2009 06:57 AM

    Probably not what you want but here is a schedule with weekend classes.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: mr_darcy Sep 28, 2009 08:46 AM

      Tante Marie has some weekend programs:

      Cavallo Point had some when they first started, but I don't see any on the current schedule.

      Kitchen on Fire has Saturday classes:

      1. eatzalot RE: mr_darcy Sep 28, 2009 11:58 AM

        Hugh Carpenter, something of an underground cult figure for his cookbooks (with his wife) on eclectic Asian and Asian-fusion food ("Hot Wok," "Hot Pasta," etc.) -- Carpenter was a former Chinese-Studies scholar -- teaches intensive, retreat-type cooking classes in the Napa area, which may be longer than weekends. Link below to the site.

        The guy is a phenomenon. I took a couple of his abbreviated (evening) classes on the Peninsula, last decade (as part of a classy series that brought in everyone from Chef Chu to Mimi Sheraton to Julia Child). He was truly original and worthwhile. Deep explanations, demonstrations of how the flavors "work" with each other. The sort of cook who will show you insights that few others know about. I came away inspired, cooking with some of his ideas ever since.


        1 Reply
        1. re: eatzalot
          maria lorraine RE: eatzalot Oct 29, 2009 12:20 AM

          That's a great recommendation. Does Hugh still teach? I've never taken a class but both he and his wife are certainly lovely to be around.

        2. b
          Brandon Nelson RE: mr_darcy Sep 28, 2009 04:44 PM

          The up valley extension of Napa Valley College has a class called "blademaster", it is all about knife technique.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Brandon Nelson
            maria lorraine RE: Brandon Nelson Oct 29, 2009 12:18 AM

            Check out all the classes offered by the Culinary Arts Department of the Upper Valley campus (St. Helena) of Napa Valley College.

          2. m
            mr_darcy RE: mr_darcy Sep 29, 2009 07:51 AM

            Thanks much for all the helpful responses!

            1. p
              pisang goreng RE: mr_darcy Sep 29, 2009 11:26 AM

              I've always wanted to go Ramekins in Sonoma. Has anyone tried this place? http://www.ramekins.com/

              1. c
                Chris Towns RE: mr_darcy Oct 28, 2009 05:34 PM

                I think if you contact Cooking with Julie in Napa you could tailor a class to your liking. She is classically trained and does custom classes, even on the weekends. Her instruction is very detailed and full of professional vernacular and helpful hints. I have been extremely pleased with what I have learned in the ones I have taken.
                Here is the link


                1 Reply
                1. re: Chris Towns
                  maria lorraine RE: Chris Towns Oct 29, 2009 12:19 AM

                  Julie's good.

                  I like some of the classes at Casa Lana too, in Calistoga. Check out the programs.

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