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Wok Star cooking classes
Photograph: Courtesy Wok Star

The best cooking classes in Miami for wannabe chefs

Whether it’s to sharpen your skills or finally learn your way around a kitchen, these cooking classes in Miami can help

By Matt Meltzer

To paraphrase an old saying: Give a person dinner at a restaurant in Miami, they might save $100. But teach a person to make dinner in Miami, and they’ll save a third of their paycheck worth of Uber Eats. And, yes, you could learn how to cook pretty much anything on YouTube, but wouldn’t it be so much more fun with a group of your friends and some booze? Of course, it would. So, skip the food delivery in Miami, shut off the instructional videos and check out one of the best cooking classes in Miami for some seriously useful education that’ll save you money in the long run—or, at the very least, serve as a way to meet singles in Miami.

Best cooking classes in Miami

La Centrale
Photograph: Dillon Burke

1. La Cucina at La Centrale

Restaurants Food court Allapattah

You can pretty much become a master of Italian cooking if you’re a regular at this Brickell food hall’s Cucina. La Centrale offers a myriad of classes almost daily, from making fresh pasta to mastering a range of chicken dishes to an introductory course on butchering a whole fish. Classes are taught at different levels allowing students to progress in their culinary education. And if you want your kids to start learning how to cook their own dinner, there’s a summer culinary series especially for them, too. $30–$75; daily at various times.

Biltmore Culinary Academy
Photograph: Courtesy Biltmore Culinary Academy

2. Biltmore Culinary Academy

Coral Gables’ storied hotel offers the closest thing to a private cooking academy you’ll get without enrolling at Johnson and Wales. Chef Victor Santos leads you through a fine-dining–style education in steak technique, Italian cooking, vegan food and more. The Academy also hosts team-building classes for corporate institutions and culinary boot camp, where you’ll learn the basics of becoming an expert chef at home. Starting at $114, weekly at various dates and times.

Wok Star cooking classes
Photograph: Courtesy Wok Star

3. Wok Star with Eleanor Hoh

Eleanor Hoh is a self-trained culinary genius, who teaches her inexact Asian cooking techniques to people looking for ways of making quick, healthy meals at home. She promises to turn her students into “Wok Stars,” showing them how to cook all kinds of food in a wok without the confines of a recipe or exact measurements. With Hoh, it’s about using skills that pretty much adapt to any dish. Classes are offered at various kitchens and home showrooms around the city, as well as online. $85; at various dates and locations.

Cesar Zapata
Photograph: Cesar Zapata

4. Phuc Yea

Restaurants Vietnamese Little Haiti / Lemon City

Asian food isn’t the easiest to make but Phuc Yea and chef Cesar Zapata can help you master the basics—and all over cocktails and appetizers. The monthly class starts with small bites and a welcome drink before moving on to the lesson portion of the evening. Zapata enlists two volunteers to prepare most of the meal as he stands watch, giving directions while the rest of the class looks on. Once dinner is ready, everyone sits down to a cocktail-paired, Asian-inspired feast. Menus and themes change every month but the format stays the same. Second week of the month, at various dates and times; $55, $75 with a wine pairing.

Photograph: Unsplash/Jez Timms

5. The Real Food Academy

Looking to get your family eating healthier? Start with a class at the Real Food Academy, where the focus is on wholesome alternatives and nutritious preparations using fresh ingredients. Weekly classes take place during the day and in the evening and range from sushi-making and Peruvian techniques to quick, 20-minute meals. Privates can be booked for birthday parties, large groups and companies interested in having their employees bond over food. Wed 11:30am–1pm, $45; Thu 7–10pm, $65. 570 NE 81st St.

Malibu Farm
Photograph: Anthony Nader

6. Pizza Making at Malibu Farm Miami Beach

Restaurants American Miami Beach

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the crispy, wood-fired pizzas at Malibu Farm taste good because they’re well-made, or just because you’re eating them next to the ocean. Find out if it’s the food for the view when you learn to make a number of the restaurant’s famous pizzas during a 10-person group class, then bring the recipe home and try if for yourself. Take-home, wood-burning oven not included. Thu at 6pm; $60 with a glass of wine. Sat at 2pm; $25 for children.

Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market
Photograph: Courtesy Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

7. Future Foodies at Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market

Restaurants Japanese Miami

This trendy Doral sushi joint just launched a “Future Foodies” program where kids can learn the art of Japanese cooking. The Character sushi classes will have them creating California rolls, nigiri and Japanese character-themed bento boxes. While the pastry and baking class will teach them how to make Japanese rice flour dough and, more importantly, send them home with all kinds of Asian sweets. Everyone receives a Tenugui towel, also called a Japanese bandana, to get them in character. $45 or $35 for two classes; Sat at various dates and times.

Jim and Neesie
Photograph: Anthony Nader

8. Pasta-Making at the Jim and Neesie

Restaurants American Miami Beach

This cooking class taught by the restaurant’s executive chef, chef Daniel Roy, is a complete night out. You’ll begin the evening with a welcome cocktail and passed canapés, such as prosciutto-wrapped melon and arancini, and a one-hour lesson in making your own fresh pasta. Then it’s chef’s turn to take over, handling the cooking while you sit down to a wine-paired, four-course feast. Sept 25, Oct 30 at 7pm; $100.

Shooters Waterfront
Photograph: Courtesy Shooters Waterfront

9. Shooters Waterfront

Restaurants Seafood

Nothing ups the romance more on date night than learning something new together—bonus if the bonding occurs in a peaceful, waterfront setting. Shooters restaurant ticks off all the boxes, offering full views of the Intracoastal and an intimate sushi-rolling lesson each month. During the introductory course, couples will learn how to prepare two of the restaurant’s most popular rolls and enjoy a selection of discounted sushi. Last Friday of the month at 7pm; $40.

Photograph: Unsplash/Olesya Yemets

10. Via Emilia Garden

If you’re going to learn pasta making, you might as well learn in the food capital of Italy. And while Via Emilia Garden won’t take you to Modena or Parma, their techniques, instructions and recipes for fresh pasta come directly from that region. You’ll spend a Saturday afternoon with these Italian experts, making tagliatelle, ravioli and tortellini with all the stuffings, completely from scratch to take home. $60, Sat noon.

Casa Sensei
Photograph: Courtesy Casa Sensei

11. Casa Sensei

Restaurants Pan-Asian

This Las Olas pan-Asian spot goes beyond learning sushi basics, instructing guests on a combination of traditional and specialty rolls throughout the class. While learning from sushi masters, you’ll also sip on rare Japanese whiskeys and sakes, then taste your creations when you’re finished. Second Sat of the month 3pm; $40.

Prefer someone else to handle the cooking?


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