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Sep 27, 2009 11:48 PM

Intensive weekend cooking classes?

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

    1. 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. 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

          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. 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

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

          2. Thanks much for all the helpful responses!