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Foodie Experiences in Boston for Christmas Gift

c
calsheimer Dec 17, 2011 11:13 AM

Looking to give my parents a nice foodie experience in Boston for Christmas. Any ideas? Have considered cooking classes, tasting menus... any others? Recommendations? Thanks!

  1. n
    Novasmurf Dec 17, 2011 11:27 AM

    Check out Stir, Barbara Lynch's demonstration kitchen. I haven't been but the classes look terrific.

    1. SeaSide Tomato Dec 17, 2011 12:13 PM

      Ho wabout a food tour--North End, China Town, etc?

      1. m
        Madrid Dec 17, 2011 01:11 PM

        check out oleana/sofra cafe cooking classes.

        1. BostonZest Dec 17, 2011 01:11 PM

          My top three choices would be:

          1. a gift certificate to the Boston Center for Adult Education. They have been running some great cooking events. And your parents could choose the class and schedule they want.
          http://www.bcae.org/

          2. A class at Boston University - there are always classes here that I want to attend and they have excellent speakers
          http://www.bu.edu/foodandwine/

          3. A cooking class/ evening of food and wine with Executive Chef Brooke Vosika at the Four Seasons. The 2012 schedule is out and it sounds like fun. My husband and I were guests at one of these last year and highly recommend it.
          http://www.fourseasons.com/boston/dining/

          Penny
          http://www.bostonzest.com/

          1. c
            cherrytomato Dec 18, 2011 06:29 AM

            The tasting Menu at Craige on Main is a foodie experience and quite special. I also have heard that the cooking classes at Stir are great.

            1. b
              beforesunrise Dec 22, 2011 01:57 PM

              Another vote for the Stir events/classes. They really are wonderful. If you wanted to do something smaller, you could get them a gift certificate to Christina's Spices in Inman Sq Cambridge to pick out gourmet ingredients to use in their own cooking.

              1. s
                stomachofsteel Dec 22, 2011 02:32 PM

                If they have sweet tooths, you could consider a Boston Chocolate Tour (http://www.bostonchocolatetours.com/tours/) or a class (they are demonstration-only) at Flour Bakery (http://flourbakery.com/). Taza Chocolate in Somerville also does factory tours but they are only $5, so not a very pricey gift. I can't personally vouch for any of these experiences but just thought I'd throw them out there.

                1. p
                  peelmeagrape Dec 22, 2011 02:47 PM

                  Sorry to be contrary, but I have to voice my disagreement with the recommendations for a class at Stir. Maybe there are different levels of participation among their various offerings but I was really disappointed with the "class" my husband and I took there this fall. There was no hands-on part at all and I found it disappointing even in terms of watching someone else cook: they had pre-made large portions of the meals in advance, including the entire dessert course. The menu was not posted in advance and given how quickly the classes book up, I'm not sure it would have helped to phone the several weeks prior to the event to try to determine exactly which dishes would be served and whether they were something I felt would be educational to watch someone else make. I didn't feel I learned anything culinary at all and I get as much out of eating at the bar area of an open kitchen on a not-very-busy night and chatting a bit with the cooks about the preparations that look particularly interesting. Our experience at Stir was certainly nothing we felt was remotely worth the expense, the hassle of jockeying for a spot in a class, and the need to schedule so far in advance (especially with the strict cancellation policy). Just my 2 cents.

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