Cooking Classes & Camps
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Cooking Classes for Kids & Teens
My 14 year old is interested in baking and cake decorating. She is interested in
finding some volunteer apprenticeship around this summer. Any ideas on where to
look? I am at a loss. Any leads would be helpful. Thanks.
Check out Tante Marie cooking school in SF.
Our child was underwhelmed with Sprouts, compared to the marketing hype
and videos on their website (none of which was experienced by this
camper.) There were not as many hands-on experiences, and many were
simply watching the adult chefs cook or prepare foods. For those times
when they could cook or prepare food, there was no running water or
place to wash their hands or the food. When we mentioned this to the
camp leader, she suggested we use hand sanitizer (??). Add to that the
fact that the camp for 15 students was in a 12' x 10' canopy in the
front parking lot of Whole Foods, and you may agree it was a bit less
than one might expect for over $400. a week. Also, many simple
ingredients such as vanilla for baking, no freezer for making the ''ice
cream'' promoted on the schedule and one torch that frequently broke
for glazing, and you start to get the picture. A great idea but very
poor execution. Great marketing, little follow through in our
One Who Likes to Wash
Does anyone know of cooking classes in the bay area for teens. My
16yo nephew is very interested in cooking and I'd like to find ways to
encourage his efforts. Thanks
Check out Paulding and Company in Emeryville. Terry and her daughter
are great cooks and great teachers. They have a lovely teaching
kitchen, and I'm pretty sure they run a teen program. Plus they were
involved in Pixar's Ratatouille, teaching the animators cooking, which
is very cool. You can find them online. Hope he has fun; cooking is a
My daughter took a summer baking camp at The Nutty Cookie
in Emeryville. She had a lot of fun and the teacher to
student ratio was very low. They also do kids birthday
parties at their bakery that is where we found out about
them. Their web site is www.nuttycookie.com 510-597-0200
My daughter took a week-long baking class at Nutty Cookie
this summer and absolutely loved it. Nutty Cookie is a
family-owned wholesale bakery in Emeryville. Each day the
children baked at least three items from start to finish and
brought home a bountiful supply of their creations (scones,
turnovers, muffins, cookies, granola, pizza...). Everything
they made was delicious. Two additional highlights of the
camp are the small class size (4-6 children) and the teacher
(the bakery's owner) who truly cared about the experience
for the campers.
We are considering the Paulding cooking summer camp in
this summer. Any feedback about the quality
versus the price would be greatly appreciated.
My daughter attended the first year of Paulding
and Co.'s Cook! Creative Culinary Camp in Emeryville
summer. She had a wonderful time, and we are basically
prioritizing all other summer activities around the sessions
she wants to complete this summer. The camp is in a
professional kitchen (the first season of Top Chef was
filmed there), with a knowledgeable, caring staff. In
addition to all the cooking the students did every day, the
camp also brought in local chefs, including the executive
chef at Oliveto and a chocolatier from Valrhona Chocolate,
for special classes and demonstrations. While the camp was
not inexpensive, I felt that we got a good value, based on
the level of skills that my daughter was exposed to, the
meals she was fed and the amount of fun that she had there.
My son is a sophomore at Berkeley High and will be 16 this summer.
He's expressed an interest in taking a cooking class this summer. Any
advice on where to look for a teenager? I'd love to find something
interesting for him since he's quite the gourmand.
I think Paulding and Co. in Emeryville has a teen cooking class this
summer. They have great instructors and a great kitchen - that has
been used in Top Chef and to teach the animators of Ratatouille.
Last summer, my daughter participated in the first year of Paulding
and Co.'s Cook! Creative Culinary Camp in Emeryville
(http://www.cookprograms.com/cook_programs/Home.html). She had a
wonderful time, and we are basically prioritizing all other summer
activities around the sessions she wants to complete this summer. The
camp is in a professional kitchen (the first season of Top Chef was
filmed there), with a knowledgeable, caring staff. In addition to all
the cooking the students did every day, the camp also brought in local
chefs, including the executive chef at Oliveto, for special classes
and demonstrations. I am sure your son would be very happy at one of
their summer 2010 sessions.
I took some very fun and very inexpensive cooking classes at Albany
Adult Ed. School. Sur Le Table on 4th St. offers cooking classes and
there is another place that I think is upstairs in the complex that
houses the Imperial Tea Garden near Chez Panisse. Bon appetit!
We feel privileged to have been a part of the first year of COOK!
Creative Culinary Camp at Paulding & Co. My 13 year old daughter
participated in the two week session (this year they offered two
one-week specialty sessions and two two-week sessions), and every
day she could not wait to leave the house to get there, and every
day was sad to leave the kitchen. Tracy Paulding had a wonderful
manner with the students, and I was astounded with the high level
of cooking accomplished in this course. Far from the usual
English muffin pizzas taught in kid's cooking classes, the
students at COOK! made such things as duck confit, tuna tartare,
strawberry shortcake with isomalt sugar, pavlova with
passionfruit mango sauce, and the list continues. On top of the
great things they made in class, the students met professional
Bay Area chefs, and were taken on a back-stage kitchen tour of a
major area restaurant. They learned to shop at the farmer's
market and to appreciate quality ingredients, and also enjoyed
the community service project they performed at the Emeryville
Senior Center, serving a lunch of jambalaya to a group of
appreciative seniors. Their two weeks culminated in a cooking
demonstration and meal for friends and family. I feel the two
weeks my daughter spent in the Paulding & Co. kitchen gave her a
whole new set of kitchen skills, as well as interest in a
possible career path. We are already looking forward to next
year's program! Their web site and more information is at
Has anyone had prior experience with the Sprouts Cooking Club (formerly known as
Culinary Kids)? I am thinking of sending my daughter to their summer cooking day
camp. I would love to know what you thought of it. Is it well run? Did your kids
fun? Was there anything you didn't like?
My daughter participated in the Sunday classes during the
winter. She loved it and was sad when the session ended. It was
well run and working with real chefs in real restaurant
kitchens as a great experience. My daughter learned a lot, ate
new foods, and had fun. She unfortunately cannot participate in
the summer program because I need full day care for her.
-- mom of cooking kid
Looking for a summer week long cooking class for 14 yr old. Any recommendations?
Yes, I know a great local summer culinary camp that my teenager
attended. Chef-K offers week long summer camps for youth ages 7 to
18. Teen camp is July 20-24, 2pm-5pm, for Ages 13-18. Go to Chef-
k.com for a flyer and more week-long camps. Laurie Zerga is the
Director, and she is both solid and fun. My daughter still talks
about the skills and recipes she learned at this camp. I am happy to
answer any questions you might have.
My 13 year old son would like to take a cooking class! He loves to
eat and has been asking to learn to cook, but doesn't want to be
taught by me! Can anyone recommend a good, basic, general cooking
class that is kid-friendly and near Alameda? Thank you!!
If Berkeley isn't too far (University Ave. near San Pablo Ave.), and you
can wait until summer, Spun Sugar offers really fun cooking day-camps
for kids and teens. Although the shop is just about sweets and baking,
the summer camps do all kinds of cooking - a full, multi-course themed
meal each day (which they then get to eat!). I don't know if they have
started registering yet, but the classes do fill up fast. Check out
My 11-year-old has taken several classes, and a summer camp, run by
Culinary Kids, and we love their classes. Check out www.culinarykids.org
for details. They have a Tuesday evening class starting in February --
organic whole food cooking with Susan Waters (Alice Waters sister) --
held near Clark Kerr campus in Berkeley. Most of their classes are held
in Berkeley/SF restaurants and kids get to tour and cook in real
restaurant kitchens (e.g., Chez Panisse,
Slanted Door, Bread Workshop, Cafe Tibet). The summer camp was
fantastic, and included a field trip to Cannard Farms (supplier to Chez
Panisse) to tour the farm, pick produce, and prepare an incredible
farm-style meal (you definitely want to volunteer as a field trip driver
for this one!) The woman who directs the program is young and energetic
and very passionate about cooking, you can contact her for more info at
My son, who's 12, is interested in a cooking camp this
summer. Anyone know of one?
Archway School has a summer cooking camp ''Cuisine and Art''.
We've never done it, for purely logistical reasons, but it
sounds intriguing, and one avid junior cook we know recommends
it highly. Their phone, per a post in the April 2 newsletter,
My 12-year-old daughter has discovered cooking after receiving a Betty Crocker cook
book for Christmas. (Yay!) I would like to find a learn-to-cook course or class on
the weekends for her to attend. Does anyone have suggestions for a class that is
targeted for older kids/teens?
Spun Sugar bake shop on University Ave. has a cooking camp in the summer, a week- long
session where the kids cook all morning and then eat lunch together. My two boys have done
both the kids and teen class and really enjoyed it. I wish that the teacher paid more
attention to cooking healthful foods, but the menus are fine and accessible for the kids
(pastas, baked goods, soups, etc.) Carrie
Cooking classes for young children
Are there any cooking classes in the East Bay for young children? Especially
available on Fridays? I haven't been able to find any. Amy
To the parent who is looking for cooking classes, Montclair Recreation Center
offers them throughout the year. Frances
Montclair Rec Center in Oakland has several cooking classes for
ages 4-7. My daughter is enrolled in "Brunch Bunch -- Scrambles,
fruit salads, pancakes, crepes, muffins and more will be explored
(and eaten!) in this tasty class". Session I April 6,13,27, and May 4th
or session II May 11,18,25, & June 1. Fridays 11:45-12:30.
There's also "Lunch Bunch -- Children will be introduced to
healthful nutritious and delicious foods from all the food
groups. Children will prepare and enjoy a good lunch". That's
on Mondays 12:15-1:00. Cost is $50 per session which includes
the cost of food. (Non-Oakland residents pay an additional $2.)
Contact: Montclair Rec Center
6300 Moraga Avenue, Oakland CA 94611
Montclair Parks and Rec usually offers a cooking class for kids. The spring
session started on 4/2. There is a Book Cook class where the teacher reads a
book and then they prepare related recipes. Also, thee are 2 other classes
that meet for 4 week sessions - Lunch Bunch meets on Mondays at 12:15 and
Brunch Bunch meets on Fridays at 11:45.
The phone number for more info is 510)482-7812
Cooking Classes for Adults
My husband would like to take some cooking classes, and I'd like to
join him for at least a few of them. We're wondering where people
have found really good classes for the basics and also a few fancy
Sur La Table on 4th street used to do cooking classes but they
weren't cheap. For free you can go to one of Williams Sonoma's
cooking demonstrations (in Emeryville). Of course the idea is
that you buy a bunch of stuff but you're not pressured to and I
often haven't at all. They have sessions on BBQ, drinks mixing,
cake decorating, salad dressings, marinades, etc. Give them a
call and find out what classes are coming up.
Terry Paulding - http://www.pauldingandco.com/ i took her class
when i got divorced. i always loved to cook but was not in the
kitchen much while married (ok, take that any way you want...)
her class was way fun and learned new things and refresshed on
others... gave me the confidence i needed to have fun in the
kitchen again, did it with a girlfriend, highly recommended!
I'm interested in improving my cooking skills. i have become reasonably
proficient learning on my own, making dinner every night, but would love
to learn some of the basics from a real chef (eg. knife skills, making
stock, etc). Does anyone know of any such classes offered for cooking
amateurs? preferably in the East Bay and on weekends. Thanks.
The Williams-Sonoma in Emeryville offers free (I'm fairly certain they are
free) skills, or techniques, classes. I know I get notifications about it
via email every quarter or so.
Their other classes, such as cooking a particular style of food or meal,
are at a charge.
Good luck, and have fun!
Check out Pauldings in Emeryville. http://www.pauldingandco.com/.
My husband took a class at Sur La Table in Berkeley and enjoyed it a lot.
Their catalog of classes is online.
My mother has generously gifted me with a trip, the caveat being that she gets to come
with. Fortunately we get along fairly well. However, we realized that it might be best
if we have a focus of some sort for the trip. We agreed that we'd start looking at tours
with a culinary theme. I started off looking at France and Italy, but they are super
expensive. Mexico is our other choice but there are so many towns with so many chefs
offering cooking classes it is overwhelming. Has anyone out there on this list gone to
one of these in Mexico? I'm mostly interested in the 3-4 day or longer programs which
take you out to markets and other activities instead of the single day classes.
Otherwise we'll drive each other crazy
I love San Miguel d'Allende in Mexico! I went to art school there in '86, and my brother
took cooking classes there about 8 years ago. It's a beautiful colonial town with lots
of artistic gringos. I don't know which cooking class would be best, but see if you can
find something on the web. It's friendly, small, with lots of interesting cultural events
and delicious food. I am still thinking about a chicken pomegranate dinner I had there.
I live in the east bay and would like to take cooking classes.
Can anyone suggest where I can find a reasonably priced cooking
school. I don't need anything fancy or gourmet, my main goal is
to learn how to make tasty low calorie meals.
There is a personal chef in Pleasant Hill who loves to teach
cooking classes! He would teach you just what you need to know
and the class would be personalized for you. If you want to
bring the price down (I do not know how much it would be), you
could go in as a group!
www.bottsbest.com is the website. Have fun!
love to cook!
I highly recommend Terry Paulding's cooking classes. She offers
a wide variety of classes and teaches some of them for Piedmont
Adult School. Her classes always include fresh seasonal fruits
and vegetables incorporated into lovely dishes that suit the time
of year. You can check out her website at
I am not sure where you live, but Mt. Diablo Adult Education
cooking classes are reasonably prices, great teacher(s) and
definitely have the type of class you're looking for.
Otherwise, check some of the other adult ed classes in your
Here's a link to the cooking classes section of the on-line
catalog of the Piedmont Adult School:
The Piedmont Adult School holds its classes in the evening at
Piedmont High School in Piedmont, which is easily accessible
from I-580 and is near the Grand Ave. and Piedmont Ave.
neighborhoods of N. Oakland.
The one class I took there (not cooking, alas) was delightful
in every respect.
You are so smart to be doing this!
Wishing I could go with you
Compassionate Cooks in Oakland offers vegetarian cooking
classes. Here's the menu for the Nov 12th Class, ''Thanksgiving
for the Birds'':
Harvest Stuffed Winter Squash
Sensational Stuffing with Toasted Nuts and Raisins
Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Glazed Garlic Green Beans
Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust
Classes are 3 hours for $40.
I'm looking for cooking classes. I've never been a very good cook and
feel I'll never learn on my own from going through cookbooks the skills
needed to be an excellent cook. The California Cooking Academy
offers Saturday classes covering cooking basics, but they are expensive
($175 each). I am open to any and all types of cooking, including
My cousin Alain DeLangle is the chef at Le Charm French
Bistro. He is starting a cooking program offering pastry
classes on Sundays from 9:30 to 11 am. The dessert for Jan/Feb
is financier, baked pear, caramel cream, and florentine
cookies. Le Charm is located at 315 5th Street in SF, cross
street is Folsom. Please call 415.546.6128.
A friend of mine, Robin Levine,recently started her own company
called KitchenGirlfriend. She teaches cooking classes in your
home, either to individuals or to groups. She knows a lot about
food and really loves what she does.
If you want more information about her classes, she has a
Does anyone know of good ''intro to Asian cooking'' classes in
the Berkeley area? My parents are coming for an extended visit
this winter and were interested in finding a class, either with
a school or a private home. Any suggestions?
My husband has enjoyed the classes he's taken at Sur La Table
on 4th Street. You may want to try there.
I took a series of great Asian classes (Basic and Intermediate Thai and
Vietnamese) at the Piedmont Adult School. The teacher is Chat Mingkwan -
who is wonderful. His approach is to give you the foundation for Southeast
Asian cooking - spending time talking about the ingredients, helping you get a
feel for the taste of each dish and in the
Intermediate Class, you even cook without a recipe! It is hands on and a whole
lot cheaper than at Sur La Table or Home Chef. The challenge is that it is in a
HomeEc classroom so the kitchen isn't great but if you can cook under those
conditions, you can cook anywhere!
His website is http://www.unusualtouch.com/
Does anyone have any recommendations for vegetarian cooking
classes in the East Bay? I am an inexperienced cook in
general, and am thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Any
suggestions would be very helpful. (I checked the web site and
could not find anything) Thanks.
Check out the URL at www.iet.org for good info about the new Berkeley culinary school. Some classes will be taught as mini-series. For more info, call 1-800-987-
7530. They emphasize vegetarian cooking.
i can't testify as to the quality, but i did notice when perusing
the class offering for the winter-the piedmont adult ed course
offering had a listing for a vegetarian class or two.
I have taken several cooking classes at Sur La table and really
enjoyed them. I took a veggie cooking class at Homechef as well
but I don't know if they are still up in running. Many of Sur
La Table classes are vegetarian (they have a thai one I liked)
but others just have 1 meat dish out of 5 or 6 prepared so I
read the proposed menu quite closely before signing up but have
really enjoyed some of the ''normal'' classes as well. Only
caveat is that they are not cheap classes!
Loves to cook vegetarian as well
You probably won't get this in time for the December 13 class,
but Colleen does regular monthly classes. Here is her latest:
UFETA’s (Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals) monthly vegetarian cooking classes are more popular
than ever. Join us on Sat., Dec. 13, at 10 AM in the kitchen
for a special holiday treat, as we cook up some delicious
dishes, including Polenta-crusted Tempeh Piccata, Herb
Scalloped Potatoes, Saffron-spiked Moroccan Stew, Holiday Pecan
Balls, and more. Sign up by contacting Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
at 510-482-1927 or colleen AT justgive.org. $25 for church
members (First Unitarian Church, Oakland); $35 non-members.
I highly recommend Compassionate Cooks.
I have attended Colleen's classes for over a year and she is
very knowledgeable. She has everything prepared and goes through
step by step on how to prepare the dish's. The dish's she shares
are easy to follow and usually can be prepared easily. She
answers any questions you may have and her classes are very
Anyone know of any cooking classes for the summer for a 13-year-old in the
Albany/Berkeley/El Cerrito area?
Sur la Table (4th Street) offers a great cooking
program for kids 9-14 during the summer. It's pretty
popular so it may be full already. If she's mature
enough and pretty serious about cooking, their regular
adult classes are great as well and fairly reasonably
Sur la Table has a great cooking class for 9 -13 year olds (my son
took it a few years ago). Call them...it meets for one week in the
mornings with a field trip in the middle of the week. I think Carolyn
is the instructor and she's great!
I really really love Thai food and have always wanted to learn
to make it at home for my family.
I have been hearing about these new Thai cooking classes in the
Peninsula. I know there has been lots of talk on this network
about the class in oakland, but they have really large class
sizes (I'm too shy for that) and its so hard to get a opening.
I heard these other classes takes only 4 people at a time and
its more of a hands-on thing. Has anyone done this class? Is
it easy to learn? Do you know if there are any other classes?
the only info I could find was on Yelp
I think the website is www.yummythaicooking.com
I'm not familiar with the class you're talking about, but there is a woman
in Piedmont, Kasma loha unchit Clark who teaches Thai cooking in her home.
It's been a while since I've taken classes with her (and went with her on
her Thailand Tour)....but she used to have about 8-10 people come over (sign
up for a series of 6) and we'd all cook together and then have a great Thai
meal. We've developed a great repertoire of Thai recipes. I know she's in
the phone book. This might be outdated info, but hopefully it'll be helpful.
still cooking Thai
The millenium approaches so I'm feeling like I'd better hop to it
with those dreams
long on the back burner. Can anyone recommend a sushi making class
and a Thai
cooking class --preferably that are way-fun, with wonderful teachers,
affordable? I'd also be interested in any other highly recommended
classes/ resources. I'm realizing that access to such varied and
international cousine is a luxury while we live in Berkeley and
likely won't be
available if we ever move to the boonies.
To the person looking for Thai cooking classes: Kasma Loha-Unchit
classes in her home in Oakland, and also sometimes at Sur La Table on
Street. My husband has taken several classes with her and she is
She also has a great cookbook out call "It Rains Fishes". The number
for her is 655-8900.
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