Cooking has, since the dawn of time, been essential to human survival. Food is present in all cultures and culture-specific cooking methods have developed through a vast and intricate history of agriculture, geography and - of course - taste.

You don’t have to be a professional chef, however, to understand this. In fact, cooking is arguably America’s favorite past-time and continues to be one of the most powerful tools of communication we share.

Cooking with people is so important, in fact, recent studies have begun to dismantle the Five Stages of Grief model to include a sixth: cooking alone.  Cooking skills and cooking techniques, transmitted across generations, can often diminish over time in the face of routine and convenience.

One of the best ways you can start to get back in touch with your love of food, creativity, and adventure is to start by taking a cooking class.

Whether you want to sharpen your knife skills, make fresh pasta on date night, or eat delicious tapas as a team-building exercise, cooking classes can be a great way to put an original spin on private events, milestones, and parties.

From classes for French cuisine and kids cooking to sommelier courses for wine pairings - the young chef will have a great time expressing themselves through food.

Here are some of the best classes you can find throughout the US, listing what classes include, schedules and more!

cooking and dining
The meals you eat at a restaurant can be easily adapted to home cooking (Photo credit: Craig Whitehead via Unplash)

Cooking School in Los Angeles

From the multi-million dollar homes in the neighborhoods of the Pacific Palisades to the picturesque one-story homes of East LA, the infamous capital of Southern California’s LA county is home to people from all across the globe. With that immense diversity comes great opportunities for cooking, pairings, tastings and more.

Whether you’re interested in booking your kids cooking classes, want to spice up your dinner party or take part in bread-making cooking camps - LA is overflowing with opportunities to learn more about cooking.

Private classes can be found to be given as gift certificates, weeknight parties and date nights while community lessons typically give workshops on seasonal ingredients and every cuisine under the sun.

Some of the best places to start improving your home cooking include:

  • Radical Cooks
  • Food Story
  • Eatz

Make sure to check out each individual class schedule if you’re interested in taking a course at any of these cooking studios, kitchens, and institutions. The list of cuisines that the cooking institutions of LA make is too long to detail, but if you’re curious to try searching by the type of food you’d like to start learning: from Creole to Tuscany or Italian cuisine.

A Cooking Class in Boston

One of the oldest cities in the US, it’s no wonder that Boston has such a long history of food and drinks. Cooking classes can be found for all levels in the Boston area and, not surprisingly, during all seasons too.

While you may struggle to see how you can fit could possibly fit private classes into your schedule, Boston’s food community has got you covered.

If you’re looking for cooking classes for kids, take your family to the Boston Public Market. You’ll be able to reserve a spot during a wine tasting while your kid learns about the importance of farm to table, family-style cooking.

Another one of these types of cooking programs can be found at Eataly. Learn about fettuccine, Tuscan pastas and more while your kids enjoy summer cooking workshops or events.

If you’re searching for a culinary arts program as an aspiring sous chef or need somewhere to host your cooking parties, check out Culinary Underground.

Not only can the skills you learn here kick-start your career opportunities but you can also learn a variety of new recipes ranging from Belgian waffles to Pintxos. Make sure to check out their cooking studio and class calendar for more information.

Private Cooking Lessons in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the home of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty bell. Philly has always been notorious as a historical city whose roots have played an important role in tracing back America’s independence and identity.

However, the city has, over time, also garnered fame as one of the best places to eat food in the US.

From home cooks making French cooking to professionals crafting street food, Philly is full of creative cooks, culinary programs and events. If you’re interested in knowing where to make the most out of cooking classes, start by checking out some of the opportunities in your local community.

Whether you’re looking for a three-day workshop on all things Tarte Tatin pie or want to understand more about where classes are held and what cancellation policy you’re up against, check out some of the events happening near you on Eventbrite.

This online platform helps you check out all that’s happening in the city, letting you filter our results by location, theme, and price. This can be a great spin on a regular gift certificate to the mall.

Here are some of the community-based kitchens, gardens, and centers that you can check out if you’d like to engage with local cooks and farmers:

  • Culinary Literacy Center
  • Greensgrow Community Kitchen
making noodles
If you'd like to learn from a professional, check out your local restaurants. Photo credit:  Aditya Romansa via Unplash)

Learn How to Cook in New York City

Living or visiting one of the most populous cities in the world, and the most populous in the US can be an overwhelming, sensorial experience. When it comes to food preparation skills and classes, the multiple locations of events, workshops, and classes can be even more difficult to navigate.

If you want to do more than just sign up for every mailing list of food blogs and restaurants you can find, dive into a cooking class in one of the most culturally-rich places on earth.

From bread making to the art of making caramelized treats, cooking courses come in all themes and prices. If you want to get serious about cooking but don’t want to make the time commitment of signing up for lessons, check out the events happening near you. Coursehorse is the perfect platform to start with as a beginner.

Listing cooking classes around New York in a variety of different topics, you’ll be able to find one-off workshops for adults and for cooking with kids.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on making cooking your career, you can start by checking out the Institute of Culinary Education NYC. Not only do they have various different degree programs to choose from, but you can also take one of their adult classes during the weekday in order to check out their facilities and staff.

Some other great cooking experiences waiting for you in NYC are:

  • Pizza School NYC
  • Brooklyn Kitchen
  • Taste Buds Kitchen

Culinary Arts Courses in Houston

One of the largest cities in the US by area and the 4th largest by population, the 2 million people who live in Houston can trace their origins back to many different countries around the world.

The oil-rich city is notorious for its contributions to space, information technology, and health care. However, Houston is also one of the largest food capitals in all of Texas.

Aspiring chefs looking to gather some cooking experience will be happy to find many great cooking schools for professionals in the city. Some of the culinary schools you can check out if you’re interested in certifications and degrees are:

  • Culinary Institute Lenotre
  • Houston Community College

On the other hand, those looking for a community class are probably less interested in the intricacies of pastry making and more interested in engaging with local professionals and foodies. If you’re looking for a workshop led by expert cooking staff, check out Houston’s Central Market.

Kids have plenty of options in the city too! Teenagers and children who have an interest in cooking can enjoy learning about different recipes and skills at Urban Chef. Hosting private parties and courses for kids in cookie-making or comfort food, kids' classes are about 50 dollars.

Another great city to learn how to cook in is Chicago. Check out the best places here!

drink making
Learning new cooking skills can lead to great employment opportunities Photo credit: Joanna Boj via Unplash)

Learning Culinary Techniques Online

Learning new cooking skills doesn’t have to be limited to one city or even a physical cooking studio. If you’re the type of person who likes learning at their own pace, wants to save some money or just want to learn a variety of different skills from the comfort of your own home, taking classes online might be the perfect way to go. Here are some of the best online cooking tutorials available for you:

  • Udemy
  • The Kitchn Cooking School
  • The New York Times Cooking School

The only thing left now is to start cooking up some new recipes!

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