8 Virtual Classes for Next-Level Pandemic Cooking

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Ten months ago, people across the world turned to their kitchens for comfort in an uncertain time. Today, with the virus still raging in the Bay Area, our home kitchens still have a prominent role in pandemic life.

But if nearly a year of lockdown has you burned out and scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas about what to make next, we have the solution: virtual cooking classes. From staples like bread and cheese to delightful delicacies like gyoza and chocolate truffles, these online workshops will help rekindle your cooking fire and make you fall back in love with your own stove.


18 Reasons' Basic + Advanced Cooking Classes

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The Mission-based nonprofit 18 Reasons is on a mission to empower and nourish the community through home cooking. The cooking school offers a slew of classes that cover both the basic and advanced cooking techniques every home chef should master. Workshops range from modern and classic sauces to meat braising, roasting and searing. If you're looking for something to revitalize your nightly dinner game, 18 Reasons also has events dedicated to concocting specific recipes (think cioppino, pierogies, or Chinese dumplings) as well as regional flavors including Valencia, Spain and Yunnan, China. Classes run two to two-and-a-half hours each and most cost $50 ($40 for members). // 18reasons.org

Farmcurious' Butter- and Cheese-Making Classes

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With their virtual cheese- and butter-making classes, the masters at Farmcurious demystify the process of homemade dairy. Their workshops include instruction on everything from decadent double-cream bries and camemberts ($85-$199) to fresh chevre and fromage blanc ($35-$60), not to mention classes on creme fraiche, cultured butter, mozzarella and burrata. They've even got a workshop just for kids making brightly colored "unicorn" ricotta ($35-$45). // farmcurious.com

Bite Unite's International Cooking Classes With Global Chefs

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Mission-based coworking kitchen Bite Unite has corralled a stable of incredible chefs from around the globe for their extensive series of virtual cooking workshops. Learn how to make katsudon from a Tokyo master ($40) or traditional Italian dishes from a Roman one ($30), or stick closer to home with a class led by one of the chefs who work their magic inside Bite Unite's own kitchens. You won't find a lot of basic classes here but you will (finally!) learn how to make those Thai, Indian, and Persian dishes you crave. // biteunite.com

Sour Flour's Introduction to Sourdough Baking

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If you missed the pandemic sourdough train, Sour Flour will catch you up to speed. In the COVID era, they've streamlined their previously in-person workshop to a 25-minute hands-on virtual event ($25) dedicated, in part, to creating a naturally fermented wild yeast starter. Take care of it, feed it when it's hungry, and your starter will fill your freshly baked sourdough dreams forever; the original Boudin still uses a starter from the mid-1800s! Class culminates in baking a sourdough flatbread, your first step towards conquering San Francisco's most beloved bread. // sourflour.org

Kitchen on Fire's Foundational Cooking Classes for Adults and Kids

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Berkeley's Kitchen on Fire has a range of online classes to make your mouth water. Learn to make savory Peruvian roast chicken or rich paella; take a mixology class; or learn tricks and tips to boost your health with classes that combine cooking and nutrition tips ($65 each). Wannabe chefs who could use a primer in foundational skills can sign up for the 12-week basics series ($895), a program that covers everything from knife skills and pan-frying to pizza dough and quick breads, and teens can bust their quarantine boredom with an after-school program that focuses on classic dishes that'll stick with them for years to come ($35/class). // kitchenonfire.com

The Story of Ramen: Learn to Make Gyoza From Scratch

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The Story of Ramen's 90-minute guided classes ($38) are an introduction to gyoza, the gateway drug to dumplings of all types. With ingredients from their Mission shop, you'll learn how to roll, wrap, and cook the Japanese pan-fried delicacy to perfection. And while The Story of Ramen hasn't yet transferred their in-person ramen workshops to an online format, their ramen and sake tasting class ($48) will show you how to assemble the perfect bowl. // ramenpartysf.com

The Civic Kitchen's Hands-On Cooking Classes for Home Cooks and Homesteaders

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Whether you're a home cook who enjoys a good meal or a budding homesteader, The Civic Kitchen in the Mission has a class for you. For the latter, workshops on fermentation and condiments will fill your pantry with homemade goodness ($55-$95). For the former, the workshops include everything from how to make croissants or scones to souffles and vegan meatballs ($55-$120). Those who already have a robust selection of their own recipes can learn how to get started on the ultimate project: writing a cookbook ($399 for three sessions). // civickitchensf.com

Dandelion Chocolate's Truffle-Making Workshop + Virtual Chocolate Tastings

(Courtesy of Dandelion Chocolate)

Dandelion, one of SF's favorite chocolate ateliers, has moved its popular classes from the shop to an online format. This season's hands-on workshop is all about the most precious of all confections: the chocolate truffle. In the 75-minute virtual truffle event ($100), budding chocolatiers will learn to make ganache-filled jewels using two types of chocolate and chocolate nibs sent from Dandelion's kitchen to yours. If your interest in chocolate lies more in eating than doing, check out their virtual tasting ($70) or origin stories ($75) classes instead. // dandelionchocolate.com

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