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Top 10 Best Cooking Classes in NYC - CourseHorse

By Jenny Tobin | Published 6/25/2012

Cooking classes in New York are a dime a dozen, but these expert curated options from pastry to pasta are student-picked favorites

Trio Cooking

Whether you're a regular culinarian (yes, that's a word) or fumbling just to get that clicking noise to stop on your stove, there's a cooking class in NYC for you. Cut your onion crying time down with some freshly sharpened knife skills, add some spice to your next date night, or get the confidence to host the dinner party you only thought you couldn't cook for. We've vetted the best cooking schools in the five boroughs and present to you below their top classes as rated by people who actually attended them.

Cooking with Wine

Cooking with Wine

Taste Buds Kitchen
Chelsea, Manhattan

NYC denizens love a good wine with their meal, and so why should cooking the meal be any different? This class combines learning how to prepare a delicious gluten free menu with some top notch Long Island wines from Castello di Borghese. You’ll learn to prepare salmon to perfection and a mouth watering bacon and leek risotto. Of course, no dinner would be complete without dessert, which in this case is a delectable red wine poached pear dish with a hand whipped cream. Our student reviews rave about the friendly, knowledgeable staff, delicious recipes, and getting to go home having truly learned something.

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Beef Jerky

Jerkin' Around: How to Make Beef Jerky

Dickson's Farmstand Meats
Chelsea, Manhattan

Dickson’s is a world renowned butcher shop located in Chelsea Market specializing in artisanal meats and house-made charcuterie, but they also teach meat-oriented classes in a laid back, intimate setting. This beef jerky class will walk you through everything make-your-own-jerky related from what cuts of meat to use to understanding the drying and dehydrating process, and you’ll even get to make your own jerky marinade. You won’t go home with your jerky due to the time it takes for it to dehydrate, but you will get to pick it up a few days later and be the envy of your jerky-loving friends who you will of course share with… maybe.

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Pie Making

Pels Pie Co.
Lefferts Garden, Brooklyn

This aptly named class will leave no mysteries behind in terms of what it takes to make your own pie. You’ll roll, you’ll crimp, you’ll fill, you’ll bake, and you’ll go home not only to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but also with enough pie crust to make two additional pies whenever you’re feeling ins-pie-erd (ehhh). Owner and head chef Alison Pels is consistently complimented for her patience, articulate and detailed instruction, and willingness to answer any and all pie related questions. You’ll also get one glass of wine or other beverage on the house, so you won’t go too thirsty while salivating over your pie creations.

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Make & Take Truffle

Roni-Sue's Chocolates
Lower East Side, Manhattan

Rhonda Kave, owner and chocolatier at Roni-Sue’s, has been making chocolates for more than twenty-five years and believe us, it shows. In this truffle making extravaganza of a class Rhonda will walk you through the basics of how chocolate is made, a guided cacao tasting, and of course the (shockingly approachable & repeatable at home) art of hand rolled truffles. Students walk away surprised at just how much they’ve learned about chocolate and cacao and appreciate the intimate vibe of working out of the shop’s kitchen. There’s also of course the box of self-decorated truffles you’ll head home with, which you may or may not eat all of before you get there.

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Bread Basics

Le Pain Quotidien
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Though at this point Le Pain Quotidien is world famous for their WiFi friendly cafes, there’s a rich history of bread baking that they’ve held onto with gusto. If you’ve ever been curious about making your own freshly baked bread this is the place to start, though intermediate bakers can learn a thing or two as well. Students love how hands-on the class is and how the instruction includes tips for repeating what you’ve learned at home (let’s be real -- not every New Yorker’s apartment comes equipped with a bread oven). Hopefully you have some bread loving friends or co-workers because you will go home with a mountain of bread from baguettes to chocolate rolls and so, so, so much more.

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Blind Eating

Dinner in the Dark

Abigail's Kitchen
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like, and even more so as you’ll actually be enjoying dinner while completely blindfolded. Though you won’t cook anything in this class, you will get to learn through the exploration of food using your non-vision senses, an effort which is well worth it when the reward is a multi-course meal paired with wines. They also make changes for dietary restrictions as long as you let them know in advance, so that’s one less thing to worry about going into blind. For those who enjoy a courageous, unique sensory experience, this was made for you.

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Hands-On Croissants

Mille-Feuille Bakery
Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Honestly, who doesn’t love a good croissant? Buttery, rich, flakey croissants… it’s hard to go wrong, but Mille-Feuille has a way of teaching you how to make them very right. You’ll walk through everything from preparing the dough to folding and then actually baking 15 plain, chocolate, and almost croissants. Not only that, but you’ll do it all under the instruction of real Parisian chefs which makes the experience just that much more authentic. Students appreciate the class’s seamless flow, intimate size, and wealth of instructor knowledge they get to soak up and take home with them.

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Cooking Fish

How to Cook Fish

Home Cooking New York
SoHo, Manhattan

Though fish can be tricky, How to Cook Fish makes sure you go home with a few apartment-ready fish recipes and skills up your sleeve, from basic knife techniques to cleaning and preparing. In this cozy, small group class, you’ll slow roast, you’ll fry, you’ll braise, and best of all, you’ll eat. Every student leaves with the knowledge of how to buy fantastically fresh fish, and just in case you forget you’ll also leave with your very own fish-buying guide which you never knew you wanted but will wonder how you survived without beforehand. Lose your fear of fish in just under three hours, and have fun while you’re at it.

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Knife Skills

Knife Skills

The Brooklyn Kitchen
Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Knife skills classes are constantly in demand, but this class from Brooklyn’s hippest cooking school gets the highest marks time and time again. Whether you’re stoked on slicing or finding chopping a chore, you’ll leave feeling more comfortable with a knife in hand and a variety of skills which will take a chunk out of your prep time. Students appreciate the hands on instruction, clear demonstrations, and ability for the class to cater to all levels of knife expertise. The two post-class drinks and light meal don’t hurt either. After all, nobody said dicing can’t work up an appetite, and everybody deserves a little celebration over newly found skills.

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French Macarons

Atelier Sucré
East Village, Manhattan

Macarons have long been a French delight, but NYC isn’t without its fair share of world class macaron mastering bakeries. Atelier Sucré, the brain-child of trained French pastry chef Simon Herfray, happens to be one of the best in the business. In this two and a half hour class Simon or one of his chefs will walk students thoroughly through macaron technique and theory, ultimately resulting in a high quality product that you’ll be amazed you created. The instructors are more than happy to answer any questions and are frequently commended for their clear explanations, individual attention and ability to create a fun, welcoming environment.

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