Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published May 10th 2011
Part of the fun of going to New York City, whether you're a resident or an out-of-towner is eating at any one of the different restaurants. If you've ever wondered if you could possibly learn to cook like the chefs and food preparers at these restaurants do, you'll be pleased to know that you can.
It may even be possible to take cooking classes at some of the same culinary institutes that your favorite chef trained at or perhaps operates. There are several places in New York City that offer cooking classes. Some are strictly "just for fun" while others can allow you to continue mastering your cooking skills until you are ready to open your own restaurant or catering business.
This is actually a culinary university, where you can earn degrees in the Culinary Arts, but it also has a "recreational" cooking program. You don't earn a degree, but you do get to learn how to cook some delicious meals, bake wonderful desserts, and even learn which wines to serve with which dishes.
Day and night classes are available 355 days a year. Twelve to sixteen students attend for approximately 4 to 5 hours. If this doesn't sound like very many students, you should be aware that there are 14 kitchens and classrooms at the school.
Private cooking parties are becoming more popular. In addition, many corporations are incorporating cooking parties into their corporate events. Ristico Cooking can handle both types of events. You can have as few as 12 people at a private event or 150 people (who will be divided up into teams) as a corporate event. Your group gets to pick the menu; you aren't limited to only a few basic items. This makes it more fun for everyone.
You can enjoy learning to cook in the magnificent Chelsea neighborhood location of Home Cooking New York or you can schedule cooking classes at another location, if that's more convenient. Either way, you'll be able to choose from basic classes that offer instruction in cooking fish or desserts, or just the six basic cooking techniques that everyone needs to know) to certain ethnic cuisines. Classes last approximately 2 ½ hours, and are held each Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM; every other weekend classes are held from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. At the end of them, you eat what you've learned to cook.
Ms. Lee concentrates on teaching you how to cook low-fat, healthy recipes, using the freshest ingredients chosen by Ms. Lee herself. You can choose from a number of menus, but every one of them will be delicious because everything is so fresh. Classes are held on Tuesday nights from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM. You can also attend morning classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM until 1:30 PM. In addition, there are other classes held in different locations at different times of the year, so you should have no trouble finding one of Ms. Lee's classes to attend.
Janeen Sarlin, owner of Sarlin Cooking with Class at 110 East End Avenue (between 84th and 85th Street) enjoys letting small groups of people use her commercial kitchen facilities, complete with all the equipment and loads of counter space, to learn how to cook meals for everyday events as well as special occasions.
Classes are held from January through November, on Wednesday nights, from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM, and each class focuses on a specific type of cooking. For example, in February, you may learn how to fix a romantic Valentine's Day dinner. In June, you'll learn how to prepare a picnic dinner, while the fall and approaching holiday months will focus on, of course, holiday cooking.
Cooking by the Book gives you a number of classes and events to choose from. These include private classes as well as corporate events designed to foster team building. You can even sign up for some challenging cooking events, or go on a scavenger hunt that has a culinary theme. Events are held at 13 Worth Street, which is located in the Tribeca district, and last for approximately three hours. Everyone receives their own personalized apron as well as other little surprises as the event continues. At the end, everyone enjoys what has been prepared.