Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums

Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/)
-   Today's Menu (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f104/)
-   -   Has anyone taken a cooking class? (http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f104/has-anyone-taken-a-cooking-class-29553.html)

Mr_Dove 11-30-2006 11:20 AM

Has anyone taken a cooking class?
 
Has anyone taken a real cooking class? Is it worth the cost? Is there a better way to learn? I'm thinking more about learning techniques rather than just recipes.

My wife sent me this link. A friend of hers is doing a "date night" cooking class for her anniversary.

http://www.cookstreet.com/cooking-wi...ooking-classes

Classes there are about $80 for a session. Several of them look interesting but I'm unsure if they are worth the cost.

Andy M. 11-30-2006 11:25 AM

It's hard to say. I know nothing about Cook Street or your ability level. If the courses are good and there is one that sounds like it could add to your skills, go for it. $80 isn't a lot for four 3.5 hour classes.

SizzlininIN 11-30-2006 11:32 AM

Oh I would love to do it. Its something my middle son and I have talked about doing the next time the local college offers it. Usually its Japanese cooking. I'd go for it if I were you.....one 2 hour class around here is $45.00 to learn 3 dishes.....its a 4 week session that meets once a week.

RajunCajun 11-30-2006 11:42 AM

Hi,

I've taken several at a "foodie" grocery store we have in the Dallas area called Central Market: www.centralmarket.com

From my experience, what makes or breaks a class is the instructor. I've had several really good ones and those classes tend to be the best; the average instructors usually have average classes. In all fairness though, I have had fun at all of them.

I've not taken any classes at other places yet.

Paul

ironchef 11-30-2006 01:01 PM

Yeah, I took about two years worth of cooking classes. :chef:

kitchenelf 11-30-2006 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironchef
Yeah, I took about two years worth of cooking classes. :chef:

Did they help? http://bestsmileys.com/peeping/5.gif

goboenomo 11-30-2006 01:46 PM

I took cooking at school grade 9-11, but they never really helped me.
Infact I helped the teacher more than she helped me.
I was in a Hospitality course, which is food and the workplace.
So pretty much she'd explain something, and go ... "Right Alex?"
:D

pdswife 11-30-2006 01:50 PM

I took one at our local kitchen store once. Did I learn anything.. not really.
Was it worth the 85 dollars? OH yeah!! We were served what the chef made and it was delish. I would have gladly taken more classed just for the meals. Sadly the shop closed.

ironchef 11-30-2006 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitchenelf

Somewhat, but I still have problems with following directions. :dry:

But like anything else it depends on both the school and the student.

goboenomo 11-30-2006 01:58 PM

These two girls at my work took a cake class.
I didn't think it would be much until I saw their cakes.
It was more of the decorating, not the baking.
It had these hard special layer around the outside. The inside was vanilla with icing between two layers, and strawberry jam between another 2. Then it was topped with icing flowers that she told me take about 10 mins each to make.

I would like to take that.

ironchef 11-30-2006 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goboenomo
These two girls at my work took a cake class.
I didn't think it would be much until I saw their cakes.
It was more of the decorating, not the baking.
It had these hard special layer around the outside. The inside was vanilla with icing between two layers, and strawberry jam between another 2. Then it was topped with icing flowers that she told me take about 10 mins each to make.

I would like to take that.

The outer layer was probably fondant.

goboenomo 11-30-2006 02:09 PM

Yeah that's the stuff.
At first I thought the icing just hardened because somone told me the cake was out over night. But I thought it was other then that. I asked, but I had already thrown it out. Haha, it's okay, too much icing for me anyways.

Ishbel 11-30-2006 02:10 PM

I've taken lots of classes over the years - both here and in European countries. Some of them have been a couple of days, some a couple of weeks - and one, many years ago in Paris was 6 weeks. This year I've been on a 3 day course in Portugal and a 2 day course in the highlands of Scotland.

But, I'm not a chef and never will be! I don't think I have the temperament for it - or the stamina :smile:

kitchenelf 11-30-2006 02:12 PM

I have taken several through the years. I always learn something from each one of them. The last one I took taught me to be more proficient with my stovetop smoker. Good flavor/healthier cooking!!!!!

Caine 11-30-2006 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ironchef
Somewhat, but I still have problems with following directions. :dry:

Yeah, there's a lot of that going around. That's why I can't figure out the surge in cook book sales the last few years.

shpj4 11-30-2006 05:31 PM

I have taken some Cooking Classes at Valley College and they were very interesting.

It really depends on what type of class you are interested in and then research them out.

Robo410 11-30-2006 05:38 PM

yup lots. Go for the hands on ones , not the demonstrations. You can get demos at dept stores and on TV. But hands on work with a group of like minded enthusiasts and a chef is worth the $$$.

Mr_Dove 11-30-2006 05:57 PM

regarding fondant: i signed my wife up for about 12 weeks of cake decorating classes. Fondant looks really good but usually tastes terrible. By terrible I mean that it has almost no flavor.

kccats 11-30-2006 06:00 PM

no i have not. :)

Corinne 11-30-2006 08:59 PM

Funny you should ask! Just got a flyer in the mail today from one of the local high school's continuing education program. This will be my first formal class. I'm signing up for a Homemade Cheese class that starts in Jan. 6 weeks for $85. Using fresh milk to make Mozzarella, Ricotta, Queso Blanco, Cheddar, Fromage Blanc, etc. I LOVE cheese! :pig:

bullseye 11-30-2006 09:09 PM

I've been in a number (20 or more) of classes. Definitely go for the ones that you participate in. I found that there were a couple of instructors I liked and whose expertise and experience I respected. I always took their classes, and I came away with as much from their offhand comments on prep and process as I did from the course material.

amber 11-30-2006 10:14 PM

Does home economics class in high school count? :chef: Honestly that is the only hands on cooking I was ever taught formally, and other than that I learned mostly from working in the catering industry. Like most have mentioned though, if you have a good instructor and the class is hands-on, I say go for it.

Chopstix 11-30-2006 11:50 PM

I'm very selective. I'll enroll only if I will learn something new skills-wise or learn a coveted recipe. Preferrably if it's hands-on too.

I've taken a few, including a crash classical course for chefs (150 hours + 100 hours internship) and several special multiple-day programs. Oh, and I also attended a half-day program at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris but we only got to watch the chef make everything.

I recently finshed a 5-day traditional Thai cooking course where we learned 15 different curry dishes from scratch. I also completed a 7-day Thai contemporary cooking course that included fruit and vegetable carving. I learned about strange new ingredients for the first time and discovered something about Thai food philosophy.

My advice is: Study the course description and dishes offered carefully. If you don't think you'll learn new skills and that they will simply show you how to follow recipe instructions, then maybe you're better off buying a book on the topic.

Of course if the cost does not matter, it's always preferrable that one is shown how to do things first, so at the very least, if you don't learn any new skill, what you gain is the confidence to make the dish yourself.

RPCookin 12-01-2006 12:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
Has anyone taken a real cooking class? Is it worth the cost? Is there a better way to learn? I'm thinking more about learning techniques rather than just recipes.

My wife sent me this link. A friend of hers is doing a "date night" cooking class for her anniversary.

http://www.cookstreet.com/cooking-wi...ooking-classes

Classes there are about $80 for a session. Several of them look interesting but I'm unsure if they are worth the cost.

I've taken the Classic Techniques: Essentials class at Cook Street. I loved the class, it is defintely hands on. It gives you a lot of good basic information as well as getting work as a class to cook a full meal and eat it at each class session. Each of the 4 sessions focuses on a particular topic. Chef Dale Eiden taught the class when I took it, and he makes it alot of fun. I've also been to one of their Taste 5 wine parties... makes for a good fun evening.:chef:

I'm retiring the first of the year, and I plan to take some more classes then.

Nicholas Mosher 12-01-2006 08:47 AM

If taught by someone who teaches you actual techniques they can be invaluable. I searched around for one, and could only find home-ec type courses teaching a few "recipes" rather than focusing on the techniques which would open up thousands of recipes to that person. Ended up experimenting by myself with the CIA's textbooks and blowing through a few grand worth of merchandise to develop my basic skills.

I'd love to take a Thai course though! I hear a lot of places in Bangkok run cooking-school "Vacations" where you spend five days shopping at local markets and cooking. I'd also love to do this somewhere in the Sichuan province of China.

Michelemarie 12-01-2006 09:14 AM

When I lived in Dallas one of our favorite restaurants would give a month worth of classes on Monday night, when the restaurant was closed. A small group of people sat in the kitchen and the chef prepared different dishes each night. He talked about technique, ingredients, etc. The wine was flowing from all directions. After the meal was complete, we all went to the dining area and it was presented to us as if we had reservations. We left with copies of all the recipes with our notes scribbled all over it. It was alot of fun and very informative.

ChefJune 12-01-2006 09:27 AM

Cook Street has a very fine reputation among Cooking teachers and in the culinary community, in general. Perhaps I am a tad prejudiced, as I am a Cuiinary Educator, but I think there is no better way to learn the techniques than by taking classes from qualified instructors. You can definitely ask the school to see the credentials of the teachers whose classes you are considering.

Even tho I teach cooking, I also take cooking classes. There is always something new to learn!

Have a ball. You're gonna love it! :chef:

ChefJune 12-01-2006 09:29 AM

Quote:

I searched around for one, and could only find home-ec type courses teaching a few "recipes" rather than focusing on the techniques
Nick, where in MA are you? If you're in or near Boston, there are plenty of places to learn from qualified instructors.

Just because a course is billed as "Northern Italian" does not mean that techniques are not going to be taught. In fact, I have yet to take a course anywhere that did not emphasize the techniques needed to make the dishes in the class.

Not sure what you were looking for.

Nicholas Mosher 12-01-2006 09:37 AM

I'm in North-Central Massachusetts, about an hour from everywhere (right at the northern tip of the Quabbin Resivoir).

Gretchen 12-01-2006 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
Has anyone taken a real cooking class? Is it worth the cost? Is there a better way to learn? I'm thinking more about learning techniques rather than just recipes.

My wife sent me this link. A friend of hers is doing a "date night" cooking class for her anniversary.

http://www.cookstreet.com/cooking-wi...ooking-classes

Classes there are about $80 for a session. Several of them look interesting but I'm unsure if they are worth the cost.

Cook Street is a fine cooking school. I have taken 2 at our local Johnson and Wales and absolutely loved them. Most recent was Indian cooking--just excellent.
She would love to do it. It is fun to meet people taking the class and the chefs that do these are really great folks too.
And for learning techniques that you are unfamiliar with or cuisine that requires more understanding of spices, it is just terrific.
That is a very standard price I think. OUrs are more and some of the "boutique" classes are MUCH much more!!

Chopstix 12-01-2006 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
I'd love to take a Thai course though! I hear a lot of places in Bangkok run cooking-school "Vacations" where you spend five days shopping at local markets and cooking.

I've taken one of these before at a fancy hotel along the Chao Praya river. (This was long before I moved to Thailand.) We rode a nice re-outfitted rice barge to the wet market across the river, where our guide showed us local produce and spices being sold, and then we went back the same way to the hotel where the chef showed us how to cook a 5 course meal at an outdoor kitchen surrounded by lush gardens. We were even given a nice hotel-branded apron and toque. The course was overpriced of course. And what I learned I could have read off the recipes.

Now I shy away from touristy stuff like this. Nicholas, when you do, make sure it's not some tourist rip-off. Many hotels and schools offer cooking courses as it is very popular with tourists. My advice: Do your research on the school and program first.

ChefJune 12-01-2006 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Caine
Yeah, there's a lot of that going around. That's why I can't figure out the surge in cook book sales the last few years.

Lots of folks read 'em instead of mysteries or whatever, and never intend to cook from them at all! Go figure! :ermm:

kitchenelf 12-01-2006 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChefJune
Lots of folks read 'em instead of mysteries or whatever, and never intend to cook from them at all! Go figure! :ermm:

I read murder mysteries with the same intentions :ohmy: :lol:

Nicholas Mosher 12-01-2006 02:15 PM

HAHAHAHA! :rofl:

Nicholas Mosher 12-01-2006 02:16 PM

I just hope you're not saying, "Ohhhh, that would be great!" :ohmy: :tongue: ...

Chopstix 12-01-2006 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitchenelf
I read murder mysteries with the same intentions :ohmy: :lol:

LOL Elf!!!!!:rofl:

TexanFrench 12-02-2006 12:58 AM

It does depend on the instructor. I once attended a set of classes where the instructor (a woman, by the way) said, in a very haughty tone, that no great cooking was ever done by mothers cooking for their families. I happened to be a young mother at the time, and I shot back, "I guess that depends on your definition of great cooking." She was distinctly unhappy with me from that moment onwards...

ChefJune 12-02-2006 01:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TexanFrench
It does depend on the instructor. I once attended a set of classes where the instructor (a woman, by the way) said, in a very haughty tone, that no great cooking was ever done by mothers cooking for their families. I happened to be a young mother at the time, and I shot back, "I guess that depends on your definition of great cooking." She was distinctly unhappy with me from that moment onwards...

...Sounds like someone who was pretty unhappy with herself, as well... :dry:

FraidKnot 12-02-2006 11:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chopstix
I've taken one of these before at a fancy hotel along the Chao Praya river. (This was long before I moved to Thailand.)

Hey! I lived in Bangkok once upon a time! :smile: I was a kid, 9 years old, so obviously I wasn't taking a cooking course. Sorry to sort of hijack the thread but I definitely had fun shopping at the Pratunam market and (can't remember what they call it) the "Sunday Market" in the company of our cook, Alum, or her daughter, Dook. We were military, so obviously we were the rich "falangs" :lol: If you get a chance, maybe tell me if the house we rented is still there. Bon Nung, Soi Ekamai (soi hok sip sam). Across the street from the lumber yard and the Imperial bowling alley.

The great thing about this experience was it taught me (and in fact they taught me so in Thai language class at school, the International School of Bangkok) the value of the barter system. I wish I could go into a supermarket in the U.S. or even a farmer's market and not pay "sticker price". 5 baht? No, 2 baht! and settle on 3 baht. All's fair in food and cooking!

Fraidy

Chopstix 12-02-2006 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FraidKnot
... the "Sunday Market" in the company of our cook, Alum, or her daughter, Dook. We were military, so obviously we were the rich "falangs" :lol: If you get a chance, maybe tell me if the house we rented is still there. Bon Nung, Soi Ekamai (soi hok sip sam). Across the street from the lumber yard and the Imperial bowling alley.
Fraidy

Fraidy, by "Sunday Market" do you mean the 'Weekend market"? If so that would be the Chatuchak or Jatujak Market: A huge sprawling spread of stalls selling anything and everything under the sun -- antiques, amulets, furniture, souvenirs, fashion, fake flowers, ceramics, dried food to marine aquarium fish, pure-bred puppies, pet fashion, the list goes on forever.

Ekamai is not too far from where I am. I'm on Sukhumvit (Soi Yi Sip Si). I'll try to remember your address just in case I'm in that area...:smile:


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:21 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.