Cooking classes just make sense. They are often pricey, but consider that a good cooking class will increase the quality of your food for the rest of your life. I find classes that emphasis core concepts (how to balance flavors, what cooking techniques to use for what foods, etc) most useful — I don't remember most of the recipes I'm taught, but I'll always remember for Thai dishes you must balance sweet, salty, and sour. Knife skills classes are particularly useful. Chef Joe's class has transformed dicing garlic from a slow chore to a step so fast I'm finished before I realize it.
I've taken classes a few places, two of which are in San Francisco. One, Chef Joe's, is a small boutique school near Duboce Park. Tante Marie's is bigger, with the greater class size and spacious facilities that implies. I can heartily recommend both, but a quick google search will turn up half a dozen that are likely just as good.
- Chef Joe — TheCulinarySalon.com
- Tante Marie — www.tantemarie.com
Where: Various locations about the Bay
How Much: $60 to $150+