Do you wish you knew how to properly temper chocolate or maintain the puff in your souffle or roast a turkey in an underground pit or debone a leg of lamb without a trip to the ER? Then you just might be a candidate for one of the Northwest’s eclectic roundup of cooking classes. I’m not suggesting a full-blown culinary program, but a fun, hands-on experience where you can learn a few kitchen tricks from the pros and eat your final exam. Here is a smattering of our favorite cooking classes from across the Northwest. They tend to fill up fast, so plan ahead.
Hot Stove Society, Seattle
The Tom Douglas culinary empire in Seattle gives you a chance to don an apron and learn new skills in an upscale kitchen at Hot Stove Society in downtown Seattle. You can choose from a wide array of lunch-hour and evening classes that include time to sit down and enjoy the results of your efforts. hotstovesociety.com
Hipcooks, Seattle and Portland
What’s more appropriate than a cooking school called Hipcooks in two foodie cities that constantly vie for the title of hippest in America? Whether or not you’re a hipster, check out their selection of daily classes, which range widely in subject matter. You might learn how to make cocktails and canapes for your next smart gathering, or how to roll sushi that will wow your guests, or how to whip up a spread of delectable Spanish tapas. hipcooks.com
Lincoln City Culinary Center, Lincoln City, Oregon
While vacationing on the Oregon Coast, you can dive into the world of coastal cuisine at the Lincoln City Culinary Center. From local farm-raised produce to an abundance of fresh seafood, you’ll immerse yourself in the foods of the coast and learn to cook like a local. Classes range from hands-on instruction to watching the pros at work.
You might find classes in seafood cookery, pasta-making, hand-crafted dim sum, pickling, canning and more. You’ll leave with new skills to take home to your own kitchen. oregoncoast.org/attractions/culinary-center
The Basque Market Cooking Classes, Boise, Idaho
A cultural microcosm lives in the heart of Boise: The Basque Block. A visit to The Basque Market is a must on any trip to Boise. And a visit that coincides with a Basque Market cooking class and wine tasting is even better. They will even customize a private class if you want to reserve the place for you and your traveling companions. Paella, anyone? You’ll come away with authentic Basque recipes under your belt and a few new favorite wines. thebasquemarket.com
Rudy’s A Cook’s Paradise, Twin Falls, Idaho
One of the best kitchen stores in the West is in Twin Falls, Idaho. If you find yourself reading that sentence again, your eyes aren’t failing you. It’s called Rudy’s, and it’s the place to check items off your kitchen wish list. Rudy’s also hosts wine tastings and hands-on cooking classes. You might learn how to make the perfect veggie pizza or homemade ravioli or a full gourmet menu to impress that special someone. cooksparadise.com
Royal Tine’s Camp Cook School, Phillipsburg, Montana
This one isn’t for everyone. If your secret desire is to sharpen your chuckwagon skills, you’re in luck. A camp cook school is just waiting for you to enroll. In this culinary bootcamp in the Montana wilderness, you’ll learn how to prepare a feast for hungry wranglers over an open campfire using a Dutch oven, underground cooking pit and only a few other essential tools. This is for serious career camp cooks and anyone looking for a unique culinary vacation experience. campcookschool.com