Looking to learn a new skill, save money by eating out less, or trying to eat healthier? You might just benefit from taking a cooking class.
Here are 10 reasons you’ll want to sign up for a class:
1. Tasting is believing. You’ll usually have an opportunity to sample the food and experience how different dishes complement each other on a suggested menu. There may even be a wine pairing for one or all of the courses.
2. Get organized, get ready. You’ll get tips on which components of a menu can be prepared ahead for easy assembly later. Or do you wish you knew how to chop 300 carrots a minute? A cooking class can teach new techniques that can make you look and feel like a pro.
3. Try new ingredients. You may see unusual ingredients used for the first time. There’s nothing quite like opening one’s first package of frozen banana leaves to find that they unfold into three-foot wrappers perfect for steaming food. Bonus points if you sign up for a class that teaches you about pairing wines, as you’ll get to sip those all evening as well.
4. Meet the chef. Cooking classes often offer an opportunity to meet that cookbook author, Food Network star, or even local restaurant chef that you’ve long admired. And you’ll usually have an opportunity to ask questions about techniques and ingredients during the demonstration.
5. Cooking in real time. It can be difficult to estimate just how long it takes to put a dish–especially one with multiple steps or ingredients—together. Seeing a chef at work in the classroom takes away the guesswork.
6. Be an armchair chef. If you love to watch cooking shows, taking a class takes the experience up a notch. And there’s no shopping for ingredients or cleanup involved.
7. A safer kitchen. Whether you’re bringing ingredients to high temperatures to make things like seed or nut brittles or prepping foods that can cause irritation (like chiles), a good teacher will offer tips to help avoid mishaps and get great results when making, serving, and storing food.
8. Tired of dinner and a movie? A cooking class is a fun way to differentiate from your usual date night routine. Surprise your honey by signing up for a class, or make it a monthly ritual.
9. Recreate and share the experience. You’ll often have an opportunity to buy a signed and personally inscribed cookbook by your teacher—perfect for yourself or to tuck away for gifts!
10. You don’t have to wash dishes. Avid the whole, “I cooked it, you clean it” debate. In a cooking class you don’t have to flip a coin for who gets stuck with dish duty. You get the fun of cooking with none of the cleanup.
The DLM Culinary Center in Centerville was completely renovated in 2014 and can hold up to 64 students. They offer classes by local Chefs, as well as their own culinary team and classes sell out very quickly. Look for the classes that pair wine with food for the most fun! Special kids classes, work team building events and summer camps are also available. Registration for the winter classes opens Jan 6th and classes start at $45.
Cook’s Wares Inc, a family owned business located in Springboro at The Marketplace at Settler’s Walk offers cooking classes in their kitchen that holds about 20 people. Instructors range from local chefs, cookbook authors and and staff. Classes range from $40-70. Their January classes are open for registration, with the rest of the winter classes coming soon.
The Little City Cooking School, located in residential Oakwood is owned and operated by Chef Jo. A very intimate setting, classes hold up t0 8 guests and are taught at night and you are even encouraged to bring your own wine. Head around the house to the back entrance and down the stairs to enter the cooking studio. Classes run from $55-$70, kids classes and private events are also offered.
Also keep your eyes on restaurant websites. El Meson, Meadowlark and Salar have been know to host cooking classes.