| Lists |

Six Favorite Places to Take Cooking Classes in Metro Phoenix

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to learn to cook more than scrambled eggs and frozen pizzas. For those of us who grew up in homes that relied on take-out and frozen foods, this can be a particularly hard transition. But fret not, there are plenty of places where you too can learn the art of top-notch cooking. Or at least the skills necessary to avoid an unforgivably embarrassing date night. Check out six places in Phoenix where you can learn to cook a passable meal (well, technically five, but all good cooking requires good alcohol).

Sweet Basil

Sweet Basil Cooking School in Scottsdale offers classes in just about everything -- from cake decorating to gourmet cooking for couples.

"Anything we do with grilling is always popular," says owner Martie Sullivan. And now that it's finally fall, grilling classes are going again.

Every Friday, Sweet Basil also has it's "gourmet couples" classes where you learn to cook together (without killing each other). The class features a 3-course meal (that you prepare) served with wine.

There's also a 12-week Essence of Cooking class where novices can learn all the basics of family cooking.

The Dhaba

For those of you who want to learn the art of cooking authentic Indian food, The Dhaba cooking school is a good bet. Cuisine Directors Pallavi Lal and Taz Doolittle run the school and both have several years of experience cooking world cuisine -- not just Indian food.

The Dhaba cooking school offers five-session "culinary journeys" and single session "culinary showcases" on specific cooking techniques. The five-session classes teach students how to prepare a complete Indian meal, from appetizers to vegetarian plates and meat dishes. You even learn how to make a traditional Indian dessert.

Sur La Table

Sur La Table may in fact have more cooking classes than any one person could feasible take. But one class being offered this month that stood out was the "better with bacon" class. Learn to cook all sorts of stuff with what may be the perfect meat. Oh, it can go so much further than as a side with scrambled eggs.

Other classes being offered this month include how to make gnocchi, and an introduction to Szechuan cooking.

Old Town Whiskey

It's not exactly a cooking class, but what's good food without good drink? Or at least that seems to be the sentiment at Old Town Whiskey. Bartender John holds a periodic "whiskey school" where he delves into different types of the "water of life" including Scottish, Irish, and American whiskeys. The next class is coming up on October 27th, so gird your liver and prepare to learn about this manliest of manly drinks.

As a side note, Chef Jose Garces who owns both Old Town Whiskey and neighboring Distrito will be in town on October 23. Distrito will hold a book signing event featuring a five-course meal with beverage pairings.

Barrio Cafe

Each December Barrio Cafe offers a holiday season tamale-making class. Back in 2010, we went to the event then hosted by chef and owner Silvana Salcido Esparza and one of the key things we learned was that getting tipsy and gossiping is the most authentic way to make the corn-husk covered, savory treats. Other things you'll learn include the tradition of making tamales during the holidays and where they originated, but most importantly, you'll have a great time.

Sadly, Silvana may not be teaching this year's class, according to the folks at Barrio Cafe. The one-day class runs about $80 one-day and is about two and a half hours long. At the end, you'll have a sack of freshly made tamales to take home. Not a bad trade off. (We'll keep our fingers crossed that Silvana changes her mind!)

Southwest Barbecue Academy

There's no better season to break out the grill in Arizona than fall. And on October 20th the Southwest Barbecue Academy is offering its class in the art of cooking raw flesh over an open flame with Pitmaster Harry Soo. The class will be held at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Participants learn "competition barbecue techniques" including meat selection, trimming, recipe injections, rubs, sauces, temperature control, BBQ chemistry, bark formation, foiling meats, and more.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.