It’s not warm enough to totally be outdoors and you’ve got a wicked case of cabin fever after this roller coaster of a winter. What’s a food loving, experience-hungry, knowledge-loving person to do? Take a class! Specifically, a *food* class! From breads to butchery, cheeses to fondant, we’ve assembled a class list that will have you hungry to learn, so to speak. Using the skills offered in these classes, you (and your friends, if a group activity if something you are looking for) can learn a wide variety of culinary skills that will allow you to have fun in the moment but then take that fun back to your own kitchen and share it. Learn to cook for a crowd, perfect skills you’ve been thinking you need a smidge of help with, or just do something different for an evening. Break out of that bread box! Strike a new (knife) pose! Any way you slice it (see what I did there?), you are going to have a grand time…learning! Who knew?
Chop Shop Cooking
Size matters. That’s why classes are kept small at Karen Brownlow’s Chop Shop Cooking. Her demonstration classes are for only 4-6 people! This means you are up close and personal with a professionally trained chef with 30 years experience cooking delicious food for thousands of people. Sitting at the island in her gorgeous Westport kitchen, you will be treated to a menu of fantastic food, prepared right in front of you and then served fresh from the pan. Full-color recipes accompany every dish made. And because the setting is so intimate, you can ask as many questions as you’d like so you can recreate these dishes yourself. For the more adventurous, Karen offers custom private hands-on classes for 2-4 people. Work on your knife skills, fold dumplings, and learn how to poach, saute and grill, all under Karen’s watchful eye! It makes for a perfect date night of working and learning together, coupled with sitting down and enjoying the fruits of your labors along with a glass of wine. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Check out their website to see what’s on the menu or email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org to design your private class. Chop! Chop!
75 Hillside Rd., Fairfield
If you’re looking for a fun date idea, a night away from the kids (we know you won’t miss nuggets or plain pasta), or you want to learn something new, Cinch cooking classes are definitely for you! Every few weeks, they hold themed cooking classes such as Pasta Making, Surf-and-Turf or Pub Food—there’s something for everyone and every taste! Bring your favorite bottle of wine or six-pack, and go hungry because you’ll be cooking up a storm in their beautifully renovated kitchen. With an award-winning chef, you’ll learn new skills, recipes, and have the time of your life in a hands-on, family-style, eat-what-you-make class. Take a look at their upcoming class schedule located on their website and Facebook page-call the store to reserve your spot. So easy. It’s a…cinch.
New Canaan, Stamford
Culinary Works combines professional cooking instruction with a casual, hands-on hands social format that everyone can enjoy. Located in the kitchen design studios at DEANE, Inc. in Stamford and New Canaan, CT, classes are intimate and interactive with seasonal menus-they have many educational and entertaining themes to choose from; Intro to Clean Eating, Homemade Pasta, Date Night In Spring and Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Party! Their Seasonal Cooking Classes are held during winter/spring, early summer and fall/holiday and focus on knife skills and proper cooking techniques while using fresh, in-season food for the menus. These classes are a fun way to learn to cook with the flavors of each season and the best approach for maximum flavor, the freshest produce and the most soul-satisfying meal. Resident Executive Chef Julia Deane and Wanda Richardson’s classes are in high demand in the lower Fairfield County community. In addition to their seasonal cooking classes, they also offer private cooking parties and corporate team building and corporate entertaining. Summer finds Culinary Works hosting their Nantucket Cooking Parties (for their third summer!), leveraging the best flavors this beautiful island has to offer. Culinary Works has the perfect recipe to create unique, memorable, and delicious events!
The Fig Cooking School
42 Naugatuck Ave., Milford
The Fig Cooking School has been bringing guests together over vibrant and intimate hands-on cooking classes for nearly a decade. Convenient to all of New Haven and Fairfield Counties, their state-of-the-art teaching kitchen in Walnut Beach, Milford is designed to inspire, with marble countertops and Wolf appliances gracing a striking copper bar. Colorful menu items such as Steak au Poivre, Northern Italian Cannelloni, Persian Jeweled Rice, Vegetarian Farmer’s Market Favorites, Southern Fried Chicken or Bourbon-Banana Pudding are designed to be relevant to guests of all skill levels - from absolute beginners to seasoned home chefs. After chopping, mixing and measuring together, guests sit down at community tables to enjoy the meal they have just prepared. It’s common to see guests exchanging phone numbers at the end of an evening of storytelling, laughter, and camaraderie that only breaking bread can bring!
Wakeman Town Farm
134 Cross Highway, Westport
Tim’s Kitchen at Wakeman Town Farm
When newbies walk into Tim’s Kitchen, the gorgeous new state-of-the-art culinary center overlooking the Wakeman Farm’s organic gardens, their first reaction is “Wow!”
In addition to gleaming new appliances, Tim’s Kitchen is building its reputation on making culinary education fun. For kids, Wakeman offers an array of after-school cooking series’ that teach junior chefs to properly use knives, spiralizers and Mix Masters. They also learn basic cooking techniques, like braising and sautéing, and a variety of handy culinary tips. Tucked into these classes is an appreciation for creating unique flavors from around the globe, and utilizing the bounty of the seasons, as well as produce and herbs from the farm’s organic gardens. When it comes to classes for adults, Wakeman is proud to invite in a variety of local food artisans and chefs as guest instructors. These pros offer engaging hands-on and demonstration classes on everything from Asian dumplings to burrata to curries and gnocchi. To make these evening sessions more convivial, classes are arranged like dinner parties; guests participate in making the meal, and, after the instruction, the group sits together at two oversized farm tables to enjoy a meal with new friends. All adult classes are BYO wine or beer, and a great time is had by all! Tim's Kitchen is also available for wine dinners and private rentals of all kinds.
16 Main St., Essex
The cooking school at Weekend Kitchen in Essex is a place to nurture the spirit of home cooks in an intimate setting. We focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to create wholesome and nourishing meals. Classes are offered on a range of topics that appeal to hobbyists and self-proclaimed foodies alike! They are taught by the area’s most talented chefs who bring a diversity of culinary expertise to our kitchen- from restaurant owners to caterers and pastry chefs. Each chef brings a unique perspective on food, technique, and teaching method to entice students to become more creative in their cooking. Our general classes are hands-on, 3-hours in duration and culminate in a full meal (BYOB) enjoyed by our students. We also run classes for corporate team building, bachelorette parties or other private cooking classes for groups of 8-12 students. Come learn and laugh with new friends while enjoying the fruits of your labor... without the clean up!
196 Danbury Rd., Wilton
All hands on deck, or counter as the case may be. Head over to AMG’s professional kitchen facility, and have some serious fun learning how to cook in their hands-on classes. Classes are 2 hours in duration and focus on 3-5 dishes, which are themed to such subjects as special holiday dinners, proteins, dietary restrictions or regions. Some of their Spring offerings are Sushi and Dumplings, Mother’s Day Appetizers, and Spring Sauces…but hurry, classes are filling up! This is a great activity for Mom’s Day, bridal showers, Girls-Night-Out-have an “experience” together. You can even organize your own group for a private cooking class. Either way, you will learn something new and have fun doing it…together.
23 Acosta Street, Stamford CT (location of classes)
Offering a wealth of class options: held in your kitchen, in their kitchen, private groups, cooking parties, corporate, and every kind of food imaginable to cook, Aux Delices is a sure-fire stop for your cooking class whims. Adult classes are demo and hands-on and cover a full menu of delights in just a few hours. Street food, cookies, cake decorating, pasta making, techniques…the possibilities are delicious.
Highlighting foods of beautiful Italy and her own heritage, Sally Maraventano of Cucina Casalinga brings the flavors and techniques of Italy to a cozy corner of Wilton. With her state-of-the-art kitchen and outdoor stone pizza oven, classes such as Knife Skills, Easy and Delicious Seafood Dishes and Pizza on the Patio will satisfy your quest for learning and dining! Daytime and evening classes for adults are held on a regular basis and are about 3 hours long. Prices vary and gift certificate are available.
“Expand your cheese horizons”…something tells us you will gladly rise to the occasion! Sign up for one of the many ongoing cheese classes at the well-known and highly regarded Fairfield Cheese and you can learn the likes of pairing cheese with various foods or drinks (wine, beer, chocolate), discover the differences, history, and subtle nuances of soft cheeses, hard cheese and everything in between…ah, the peril of learning. These evenings are fun and convivial and you will leave with a smile on your face, promise.
Fleishers Craft Butchery
Quality, ethics, transparency, connections between farmers and consumers-Fleshers is setting a new standard for butchery and food appreciation. Their classes are for people who want to know what their food is, where it came from, and how best to treat it. A unique experience for any group (team building, birthday, bachelor(ette) parties), you will leave with a new found respect and a full and happy belly. Enjoy workshops such as Sausage 101, Pork 101 (“The Whole Hog”), Roasting 101, and Knife Skills for Life
Foodology Cooking School and Bakery Cafe
991 S. Main St., Plantsville
Parties, events, fundraisers, team building…what’s better than cooking together?! Offering a wealth of classes, you will have no problem picking the perfect class to experiment with: Spring Tapas, New Orleans Bayou, Cupcake Wars, Summer Desserts, Umbrella Drinks, Fall Pies (the whole calendar is planned out!). Classes are limited in size, and are demonstrations with student participation. You will also go home with recipes so you can recreate the goodness in your own kitchen. Don’t forget to BYOB to add to the fun!
Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes
The Old Pin Shop
20 Main St., Oakville
With over 150 flavors of cupcakes, including Vegan and gluten-free options, they certainly are hardcore! And if you are in the mood to learn how to make cupcakes, work fondant, and decorate cakes, then you have come to the right place. They even have a “Cupcakes and Canvases” class that you can do with your friends. All classes are BYOB, so you don’t have to rely on just fondant to get you in a sassy, super-sugary state.
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd., New Milford
Located in the picturesque Litchfield Hills and housed in a renovated horse barn, The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm in Litchfield County hosts a wide variety of cooking classes. Silo was the first recreational cooking school in Connecticut, their classes being lead by a host of culinary notables such as Jaques Pepin, Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. Enjoy classes such as their Croissant Workshop, Homemade Pasta, Eating Smarter or a Classic French Night or you can “Create Your Own Cooking Class” to mark a special event. With hopes of expansion, their goal is to offer classes every day, so stay tuned. Adults classes are about 3 hours long and well worth it!
The Other Woman (Chef Lauren Polastri)
Sshhhhh…we won’t tell. Slip into this cozy cooking space, sip some wine, cook some food, sip some more wine…we’ll keep it a secret if you do. Informal and welcoming, these cooking classes are for any level of cook (or eater). You are sure to enjoy classes such as Cooking for Your Health, French Bistro Cooking, or Tapas and Sangria and will want to go back for more. Oh, baby. Private or group classes available.
280 Town Hill Rd., Goshen
Their battlecry: “The Magic is in the Milk!”. Cows at Thorncrest farm are lovingly cared for and given sweet hay and natural feeds. The result is happy cows that produce superior milk that then creates delectable cheeses and dairy products. So simple when you think about it. From April through October, learn how to made cheddars, Creme Fraiche, Ricotta, Mozzarella, butter and even yogurt. The classes are small, the ingredients are pure, and the enjoyment is guaranteed.
Wave Hill Breads
30 High St., Norwalk
Using whole ingredients and also milling them at their bakery results in honest, old school, superior products. From flakey croissants to sourdough and 3-grain breads to cookies and scones, there is a wealth of artisanal craft here and the folks at Wave Hill want to share there expertise. Workshops fill and close early, so do not hesitate if you are interested. Added bonus: each participant gets a loaf of fresh bread!
White Gate Farm
83 Upper Pattagansett Rd., East Lyme
Occupying 100 glorious acres in East Lyme, this organic farm gives tours (bring the kids!), sells produce to local restaurants, has a year-round farm stand and regularly offers cooking classes featuring local chefs. Using their literally-farm-fresh ingredients, students are taught techniques and given hands-on experience to produce some winning dishes. Classes are about 3 hours long and culminate in a delightful shared dinner of your creations: Vegan Dishes, Fish & Sauces, Forage & Feast and more.