perks for your palate.
7 rad DIY cooking classes happening right now
In SF we take our urban farmsteading skills very seriously, and local cooking schools have upped our game to take the next generation of food enthusiasts on a deeper dive, exploring some formerly arcane and archaic areas of cooking, preparing, preserving, and eating. Whether pickling fish or preparing an in-season feast from the farmers market, these Bay Area chefs have some tricks up their sleeves to help take your dinner to a whole new place.
Secrets to Baking Your Own Amazing Bagels at Learn from Neighbor
The secrets to making a great bagel are many—and Laurie Leiber, self-described passionate (read: obsessive) bagel-maker and certified bagel genius, is ready to teach them all to you. Leiber launched the bagel class after a stint as hospitality chair at her synagogue led to a kitchen full of people making bagels at her house. Here she digs into the step-by-step process that results in amazing bagels, and students leave with a jar of starter, shaped bagels that will need to rest before baking, and a detailed recipe. Your Sunday mornings will never be the same again.
When: Sunday, May 29, from 11 AM–2 PM
Where: Oakland (the exact address will be included in a confirmation email)
Chop like a pro at Jordan’s Kitchen
Have a drawer full of knives but find that you only pull out the same one or two for everything? You’re not alone. In this insanely popular class, chef Jordan Schachter gives students their own individual stations before he delves into the critical skill of knife sharpening. Thus armed, students slice, dice, and chop for the remainder of class, practicing cuts from brunoise to bâtonnet, and learning how to make quick work of boning an entire fish and butchering a whole chicken. All participants then stay to savor a meal resulting from all of these practice cuts.
When: June 10, 2016, from 5:30 PM–9:30 PM
Where: 413 10th St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Pickled and cured fish at Preserved
Every water-facing culture around the world has their own traditions for preserving the bounty of the sea, and in this class chef Danny Keiser of Oakland’s acclaimed Camino restaurant leads an exploration into preserving fish using time-tested methods. Local and sustainable fish, plucked from Bay Area waters earlier in the week, will guide the class’s efforts; salmon for gravlax, sardines for pickling, and anchovies for salt-curing are likely suspects this season. Class time is split between chef demonstrations and hands on activities. There are plenty of samples, naturally, and students head home with class-made creations to enjoy later—or sooner.
When: Thursday, June 9 from 7 PM–9 PM
Where: 5032 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609
Lunch at Stone Tree Farm and Silverado Cooking School
Malcolm de Sieyes, owner of Napa’s Silverado Cooking School, takes you home to his family farm for an investigation into the true meaning of farm-to-table. Students will harvest perfectly ripe fruits and vegetables from his family’s two-acre farm, then return to the school to prepare these handpicked selections into a meal that defines local, such as spring salad with snap peas and pole beans with homemade ricotta, or fish en papillote with couscous salad, citrus vinaigrette, and nasturtium butter. What you pick is what you eat, so choose tastefully.
When: Thursday, June 23, from 10 AM–2 PM
Where: 1552 Silverado Tr., Napa, CA
Big Food on a Small Budget—Roasted Cabbage at 18 Reasons
The Big Food on a Small Budget class series has become a cult classic at 18 Reasons. Why? In the hands of chef and biochemistry wizard Michelle McKenzie, deceptively simple ingredients become superstars, a showcase for flavor that budget diners treasure. Cabbage, roasted into sweet submission, takes its star turn in this class, revealing its sultry suaveness in dishes like pork fat fried rice with cabbage and pickled cucumber, or cabbage pancakes with chickpea flour, coconut oil, and mustard seeds. The time has come to say “so long!” to coleslaw and soup.
When: Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 6 PM–9:30 PM
Where: 3674 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Price: $65 or $55 for members
Cheese and cider at SHED
Artisan cheese has a new love match: craft cider. Renowned chef, cookbook author, and cheese guru Janet Fletcher helps you revel in the joy of cupid’s cider- and fermented milk–laced arrows in a class at Healdsburg. Traditional cider styles such as French farmhouse, West Country, Basque, and single-varietal will be paired with California cheeses that these ciders love best. Special guest Ellen Cavalli of Sonoma’s Tilted Shed Cider will be on hand to share cider’s sense of place in Northern California.
When: Sunday, September 25 from 1 PM–3 PM
Where: 25 North St., Healdsburg, CA