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Get Cooking in Wine Country

cooking school napa

Photo courtesy of Disunplugged

It's no secret that Wine Country is home to world-renowned restaurants; so on your next visit, get in the kitchen to learn the tricks of the trade of local chefs. Here’s where to start:

Napa

Along with offering degree programs The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone also offers what it calls Food Enthusiast Courses. If you needed another reason to head to St. Helena, this is it. Along with some hands on time in the kitchen, you can shop in the Spice Islands® Marketplace,  or eat in the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant or The Bakery Café by illy. Prices vary by class. Register online.

Robert Mondavi Winery is offering Garden to Table cooking classes every Thursday evening through October. They begin with a tour of the gardens to harvest produce, then it’s off to the kitchen with winery chef, Jeff Mosher. While final touches are made, guests are given a brief tour of the winery. $150 per person.  Purchase online.

The Cedar Gables Inn Cooking School offers monthly hands-on cooking classes with local top chefs. Most classes are scheduled on Saturdays and are limited to 12 students. After class everyone sits down to enjoy their creations in the Cedar Gables Inn dining room. Prices vary by class, book in advance, 1-800-309-7969.

Sonoma

You can tour the Healdsburg Farmer’s Market and gather ingredients for a Wood-fired Gourmet Pizza Workshop at Relish Culinary Adventures.  Or learn how to cook a greek feast, make mozzarella or send your kids to cooking camp. Prices vary from class to class. Call 877.759.1004 to register.

Just a few blocks off Sonoma’s Plaza, Ramekins Culinary School,teaches visitors and locals alike how to prepare menus from around the world in their own kitchen. Whether you want to learn how to make award winning pie, Thai Curried Fish in Banana Leaves or the perfect paella, you can do it here. Prices vary from class to class. Reservations are required.

Garden strawberries at Kendwood Inn and Spa

Strawberries in the Kenwood Inn and Spa Garden

Kenwood Inn and Spa is running a summer long program called Garden to Glass. During the Garden afternoons guest explore the Kenwood gardens with Executive Chef Steven Snook, selecting fresh ingredients that are used to create signature menu items. Garden events are offered Thursdays, July 11, August 1, September 5 from 4 – 5 p.m. Tickets are$40 per person or $70 for a couple per event, with a percentage of ticket sales benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley. Reservations are recommended, 800.353.6966.

Dana can be found on Twitter @drebmann