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The 8 best cooking classes in San Francisco

Dice, sauté and pickle your way through the best cooking classes in San Francisco

Written by
Clara Hogan
Contributors
Amy Sherman
&
George Blew
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By all means, keep dining out at the best restaurants in SF if that’s more your style, but if you’re craving a delicious meal at home, the best cooking classes in San Francisco will help sharpen your kitchen skills while expanding your palate. After all, sometimes you just need to eat at home (your wallet will thank you), and there’s no reason your at-home meals can’t be restaurant-quality.

To give you a boost, cooking schools and classes throughout San Francisco offer an array of culinary topics in spaces that range from professional kitchens to homey environments. Whether you’re keen to cook your favorite Thai dishes, recreate your go-to Indian delivery order, or simply practice using a chef’s knife without stabbing yourself like a newbie, these lessons will have you cooking with gas in no time.

Need an excuse to book a class? Make it your next date night idea, or gather your friends together for a cookoff (there’s a group class for that). Either way, get ready to throw on an apron and get to work. Here’s our guide to the best cooking classes in San Francisco — throw on your apron and get to work.

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Best cooking classes in San Francisco

CozyMeal is a platform that connects local chefs with anyone interested in learning to cook. Classes vary in style and size (from two people to large groups) while many can even take place in your own home. Topics range from Moroccan food to decadent brunch entrees, French macarons, and vegetarian Southeast Asian fare. The typical class is $95 for a two-hour session and includes a three-course meal with a minimum of two students.

The Magic of Macarons
Airbnb

2. The Magic of Macarons

This Airbnb experience is put on by a chef with considerable experience working with classic French pastry techniques. And if you’re into French pastry techniques then why not specialize in the king of all patisserie, the macaron? Consider this your passport to your own little macaron masterpieces, complete with bang-on balance between crips and chew. Dreamy.

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You might know it as a cookware store, but the Union Street location of Sur La Table offers a full calendar of classes, too. Taught by professional chef instructors, the classes are reasonably priced (under $100 each) and typically last between two and two-and-a-half hours. Classes are capped at 16 students, making them on the larger side, but they come with a perk: guests receive a coupon for 10 percent off any in-store purchase (good for that day). Classes range from Knife Skills 101 to date night classes with themes like Tuscan and Basque cuisine.

Ultimate Dumpling Dinner Party
Airbnb

4. Ultimate Dumpling Dinner Party

Ever wanted to throw the ultimate Shanghainese dinner party? Then this cooking class is for you. You’ll get the lowdown on the techniques and tools you’ll need to create world-class dumplings, with all the ingredients sourced from the local farmers’ market. Get ready to make and eat soy sauce braised pork belly, chili wonton, sauces and stuffings, with one of the class members crowned 'Ultimate Umami Chef' of the evening. That’s totally a title we need in our lives.

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The Civic Kitchen is a recreational cooking school that offers hands-on classes inside a clean-lined space that's conveniently located near BART. True beginners can start with a simple $65 knife skills class (although even experienced home cooks might consider a refresher) while a $145 class is meatier (guests prepare a full meal and even get a signed cookbook). It’s a go-to spot for classes with visiting cookbook authors, while the faculty includes local cookbook authors and chefs as well. Classes are small, often with an international focus, with a max of 14 students.

18 Reasons, a nonprofit cooking school, offers classes and dinners on a nightly basis in a storefront classroom on 18th Street. The school’s calendar features topics like Korean temple food and Baking for Fido (because your dog deserves a homemade treat, too) in addition to its ever-popular knife skills classes. Most classes are under four hours and include a shared dining experience to cap it all off. 18 Reasons also offers teen cooking classes and cooking classes for low-income community members, making this and empowering place for you and your locale.

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In Noe Valley, Meghna Agarwal—a patient and engaging instructor—teaches traditional Indian cooking classes inside her home. Group classes are $125 per person (private classes are available for $200) and typically run three to four hours. If you’re looking for an introduction to Indian cuisine, Agarwal’s lessons provide an introduction to a variety of aromatic spices and an overview of regional Indian cuisines (expect dishes like Paneer Tikka, Aloo Gobi, Karahi Chicken, and Vegetable Pakoras). All classes finish with a sit-down meal served with naan and a traditional Indian dessert.

BiteUnite is a co-working commercial kitchen that arrived in the Mission District by way of Hong Kong. The owner, Patta Arkaresvimun, works with a roster of member chefs to offer a selection of classes with serious range. Recent classes focused on anything from empanadas to soup dumplings and even seasonal pies, which means there’s a whole spead of cultural staples to perfect. Most classes range in price from $75–$125, and you can check the event page to find out what’s on the horizon.

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