Learn to Cook This Summer at These Bay Area Schools
(Courtesy of KItchen on Fire, via Instagram)

Learn to Cook This Summer at These Bay Area Schools


If shaking up your weekday dinner routine is on your summer projects to-do list, sign up for one of these Bay Area cooking classes and start impressing your friends.

Kitchen on Fire (Berkeley)

Named last fall as one of Daily Meal's top 25 cooking classes in the country, Kitchen on Fire is perfect for beginners and constant cooks alike with an endless list of themed classes ranging from summer desserts to paella parties.You'll learn the basics and more from Michelin-starred chef-instructors. They currently have their schedule up for every weekend through September, so you can book now before those summer resolutions burn out. —M.L. // $75-$135 per person; 1509 Shattuck Ave. #A (Berkeley), kitchenonfire.com

18 Reasons (SF)

To learn a new culinary skill and satisfy your community service craving, head to the Mission nonprofit 18 Reasons. The school offers a variety of cooking and Foodsmith classes for those looking to stock their pantries with jars of jams and their fridges with homemade cheese (fresh feta, anyone?). The Short and Sweet series is made for those who need to learn a new dish with a quickness, and there are even free classes for low-income families. So, you really have no excuse. —M.L. // 3674 18th St. (Mission), 18reasons.org

San Francisco Cooking School (SF)

Yes, you can get a culinary degree here, but you can also just drop by the sleek Van Ness campus for a one-day (or one-evening) cooking. With offerings like What the Pho?! and Pâte à Choux, as well as the popular Cook the Book series featuring recipes from beloved cookbooks, you're bound to find something to tickle your tastebuds. Wait, they have a French Macarons class in August? See you there. —M.L. // $65-$415 per person; 690 Van Ness Ave. (Tenderloin), sfcooking.com

Nombe (SF)

Chef Mari Takahashi has been cooking traditional Japanese cuisine in San Francisco for 10 years. She grew up in Japan, and after moving to the city in 1997 she noticed a lack of authentic Japanese cuisine here; she's now the brains behind Izakaya Sozai and Sake Lounge. Once an izakaya in the Mission, Takahashi's Nombe cooking school focuses on Nihon ryori (Japanese cuisine). Here students can learn the basics of ramen, gyoza and sushi, as well as the history of Japanese cuisine. Look for classes on izakaya bites, Japanese street food, and Chef Mari's famous ramen burger soon. —S.M. // $95-105 per person; location is disclosed upon registration (SF),nombesf.com

(Courtesy of This Rawsome Vegan Life)

Raw Bay Area (Oakland)

It's no surprise that a healthy diet with more vegetables and fewer French fries leaves you feeling pretty light on your feet. Such is the modus operandi at Raw Bay Area, where chef Heather teaches us how to nourish our bodies by incorporating raw vegan foods into our everyday diet. Skeptical? So was the chef herself, but weight concerns led her to experiment with a raw diet and the change was almost instantaneous. The basic-training session is a way to test-drive raw preparations without a lifestyle commitment. —S.M. //$175-$500 per person; location is disclosed upon registration (Oakland), rawbayarea.com

Learn Curry (Hercules)

We all love chicken tikka masala, and yet there is so much more to Indian cooking. Enter chef Sara who, after discovering the use of additives and artificial flavoring at Indian restaurants, decided to open a school to teach the importance of using whole ingredients. Learn to cook a three-course Indian meal including vegetable samosas, chicken biryani, and gajar halwa (a sweet carrot dessert), or take a curry crash course and learn to make the beloved spinach and cheese palak paneer. —S.M. // $99 per person; location is disclosed upon registration (Hercules), learncurry.com

Brundo Curry (Oakland)

When chef Fetlework Teffari emigrated at a young age to Michigan from Ethiopia, one of the hardest parts of her transition was American food. Where Ethiopian cuisine is rich with spices and full of bold flavors, she felt that American food was...not. In 1991, Teffari opened the well-known North Oakland eatery Café Colucci, which specializes in Ethiopian cuisine and shared meals that emphasize hospitality. Teffari now also operates a spice shop and cooking school, importing spices directly from Ethiopia and teaching Ethiopian cooking to adventurous eaters. Brundo offers classes for vegans and meat-eaters alike. —S.M. // $85 per person; 1960 Mandela Parkway, Bay 6 (Oakland), brundo.com

(Courtesy of Groupon)

Bay Area Barbecue and Grilling School (Treasure Island)

Up your barbecue game with a six-hour smoking-and-grilling class. You'll learn how to use Traegers, a Big Easy, and a big Green Egg (those are all grills, by the way) to cook everything from brisket to stuffed peppers. After you've graduated from this barbecue boot camp, you'll get to feast on all that smoky goodness. Classes are held through November, but the school also offers private home lessons throughout the year. —S.M. // $65-$170 per person; 751 13th St. Bldg. 264 (Treasure Island), bayareabarbecueandgrillingschool.com

Mama Thai Cooking Club (SF)

The mama of Mama Thai Cooking Club, Jirayu Sirireung-Poeter, grew up on a farm in Thailand, learning to cook from her mother. She eventually became the chef at Bourbon Street Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Bangkok before landing in SF, in 2003, where she immediately noticed that the American riff on Thai cuisine was a little off. Food tasted oily or overly sweet and had none of the wholesome flavors she grew up with. After being invited to teach a private cooking lesson in Marin, Jirayu decided to share her passion for her native cuisine with other enthusiastic foodies. Her menus vary and even include vegan classes. Currently Mama Thai Cooking Club is undergoing construction on a new location in San Francisco, but Jirayu will travel to students' homes in the meantime. —S.M. // $85-$95 per person; 415.572.3001, mamathaicookingclub.com


This article has been updated since it was originally published in November 2016.

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