Both novice and sure-handed cooks are bound to find inspiration in this year's list of area cooking classes. As you peruse the 169 entries, think of them as more than educational. Consider a class as entertainment for a dinner party, a bridal or baby shower, a child's birthday bash or corporate team building. Information was provided by the individual instructors. In some cases, they offer more courses than the those listed here and they will customize to suit your needs. Visit their Web sites or contact the instructors for further information, references and gift certificate possibilities. Have fun! And get cooking.
Ancient and Modern Thai Cooking
16th year. Demonstration/participation. Class A: Thai gourmet kitchen (satay, mango sticky rice, lemon grass shrimp soup, basil chicken red curry, and pad thai); Class B: Thai party surprise (green papaya salad, crab meat dumpling, beef larb mint leaves, drunken noodle and banana flambe). $50 per class. Northern Va. only.
An Introduction to Sushi-Making
Mary Moore, 703-331-4794
2nd year. Demonstration/participation. Learn: how and where to shop for sushi ingredients; how sushi is traditionally served; how to make traditional-style sushi rice; how to prepare California rolls, maki sushi with various fillings and nigiri using fresh fish and shrimp. $200 per 3- to 4-hour session in host's home. Minimum 4 students plus host. Northern Va. only.
Art of Chinese Cooking
Rebekah Lin Jewell, 703-591-9588
18th year. Demonstration/participation. Step-by-step instruction in Chinese cooking by appointment in student's home. Classes include: Introduction to Chinese Cooking, Tofu Workshop, Easy Everyday Chinese, Dim Sum Workshop, Cooking and Vegetarian Workshop. Classes tailored to skill level and interest. 3- to 4-hour sessions. $50 per student includes class and ingredients. Minimum 5 students. Northern Va. only.
Arlington Public Schools
Demaz Tep Baker, 703-876-0317
5th year. Participation. Classes on Cambodian cooking include: steaming hot traditional Cambodian soups; Cambodian crepe filled with a mixture of chicken, pork and seafood served with a spicy fish sauce; and vegetables and salmon in curry sauce. Beginning Sept. 23, Thursdays, 7-9:30 p.m. $128 for nonresidents, $104 for residents, per 4-week course. 2801 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 306, Arlington.
Franklin F. Chow, 202-265-5651
29th year. Demonstration/participation. Basic Cantonese/American cooking, including preparation of steamed and stir-fried dishes. Classes begin Sept. 11, Saturdays, 2-5 p.m. $40 covers 2 sessions.
The Chinese Cookery, Inc.
Joan Shih, 301-236-5311
31st year. Demonstration/participation. Classes include: Basic, Advanced, Gourmet I, II, and III, Sichuan, Hunan, Chinese Vegetarian and Sushi. Also: children's cooking, private lessons and classes in specialty dishes. Evenings, 7-9 p.m.; weekdays and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuition (includes printed recipes): $200 per 5-session course or $70 Sushi, 1 session. Maximum 5 students. 14209 Sturtevant Rd., Silver Spring.
Cooking With an Accent
Andrea Milstein, 703-359-7569
3rd year. Demonstration. Classes in Thai cooking. Learn how to identify ingredients, where to buy them and how to use them in dishes such as spicy shrimp soup, pad thai or fish in banana leaves. $50 per 2 1/2-hour class includes full lunch. Maximum 6 students. Oakton area.
Let's Cook Thai With Ruth
Ruth Jennings, 703-629-1951
3rd year. Participation. Basic or festive Thai meal preparation. $150 per 3- to 4-hour course includes cookbook. Fairfax Station location.
BAKING and DESSERTS
B. Keith Ryder 703-538-6222
5th year. Participation. Private or semi-private lessons in intermediate and advanced cake decorating and candy-making techniques. Prices vary with course content and length. Call or e-mail to schedule. Falls Church.
Marge Schinnerer and Stephen Scholz, 301-718-5111
1st year. Participation. Classes for adults, teens and children include: cake-making and decorating, lunch and dinner menus, desserts, holiday specialty classes and unique children's birthday parties. Classes taught year-round. $30-$50 per class. 4849 Rugby Ave. Bethesda.
Demonstration. Cookie-decorating class ($50 per 2-hour class; Oct. 17 and Dec. 5); American pie crust workshop ($75 per 4-hour class; Nov. 7). Maximum 12 students. 323 Cameron St., Alexandria.
Little Bitts Shop
Bob Schilke, 301-933-2733
12th year. Demonstration. Classes in cake decorating, candy molding and other specialties. Basic Cake Decorating ($100 for 8 sessions, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon or weeknights, 7-9 p.m.), Basic Cake Decorating Short Course ($50 for 4 sessions, some Saturdays, 10-11 a.m.), Candy-Making (free, 2-4 p.m. every Saturday). Classes begin in September; call for schedule. 11244 Triangle Lane, Wheaton.
Violet's Baking and Canning
Violet LaBrecque, 540-668-6006
More than 15 years. Participation. Pie-baking classes. Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings.$150 per 3- to 4-hour class. Maximum 4 students. Purcellville, Va., location.
(See also county programs in the General listing.)
Capable Kids in the Kitchen
Lanette Doran, 703-765-0304
2nd year. Participation. Healthy cooking class for children ages 6-8 and 9-12. Young chefs improve their eating habits as they prepare Italian bruschetta, Caribbean rice and Vietnamese summer rolls. Students experience new cultures and flavors and earn certificates in Soup Science, Herb Identification and Knife Technique. 75-minute class, 6-class series, $108. Mount Vernon area.
Carole Boos, 202-726-1804
1st year. Demonstration/participation. Introduction to cooking for ages 10-12 and 13-15. Customized classes in student's home, including: cooking skills and techniques for beginners; basic knife skills; meal planning; quick, easy and healthy after-school snacks and meals. Parent/child classes available. Call or e-mail for prices, scheduling or classes for other age groups. (Also see listings under General and Baking and Desserts)
Cooking With Kids
St. Mary's County Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services
301-475-4200, ext. 1802
1st Year. Participation. Ages 3-10. Hands-on cooking class using child-friendly kitchen tools. Kids sample their own creation, receive their own kitchen tools and laminated recipe cards to keep and personalize their own chef's apron. Registration for fall sessions opens Sept. 13. $5 registration fee; $45 materials fee. St. Mary's County.
Joel Olson, 301-215-7697
7th year. Demonstration/participation. Age 5 and up. Children's cooking, etiquette and manners. Single- and multiple-session classes. Special party classes available. Cost based on class size and menu. Bethesda, Chevy Chase and McLean areas. (See also listing under General.)
Angela Zeidenberg, 301-320-7714
2nd year. Participation. Cooking class for children ages 4-12. Children experience the cooking process, expand their knowledge in math, reading, science and health, and learn the nutritional value of foods while creating different cuisines. The importance of proper hygiene, manners and etiquette will be emphasized during preparation and tasting. Glen Echo/Bethesda location.
Sheila Crye, 301-587-7514
4th year. Demonstration/participation. Ages 9-14. Children learn how to plan and prepare healthy meals, how to be safe with knives and heat (through practice under close supervision) and how to work cooperatively as a team. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon. $30 each class. Maximum 8 students. Silver Spring location.
Mrs. B's Cake Decorating for Kids
Donna Bolton, 703-426-1507
1st year. Participation. Ages 8-14. Maximum 8 children per class. Mrs. B. teaches how to tort (fill the layers), assemble and decorate a four-layer cake with cream, fresh fruits and icing using pastry bags and tips. Classes begin with a demonstration, then students do their own cakes to take home. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and Noon to 4 p.m. $50 per class. Please call for dates.Annandale.
Picky Eaters Kids' Cooking Parties
Jill Bloomfield, 301-345-6059
3rd year. Participation. Teaches children skills to use throughout their lives and that bring about a sense of accomplishment. A Picky Eaters chef will come to your location with all utensils and ingredients to lead students through the hands-on activities. Great for parties. Rates start at $20 per student.
Cesare Lanfranconi, 202-367-1990
1st year. Demonstration/participation. Weekend classes for children and parents in Italian cooking, table manners and food safety. Appropriate for ages 4 to 12 years; children must be accompanied by an adult. Saturdays/Sundays, 11 a.m -2 p.m. July through December. $50 per couple includes lunch. 1112 F St. NW.
Suzanne Parker, 703-368-3519
1st year. Demonstration/participation. First through fifth grade. Emphasizes skills necessary to create simple recipes, safety in the kitchen and dining etiquette. Nutritional and easy-to-prepare snacks and simple meal items. 1 1/2-hour after-school sessions (4-5:30 p.m.). October, December, February, April, June. $30 per session; $125 for series. Maximum 6 students. Call or e-mail for schedule. Manassas location.
French Cuisine Chez Vous
Nancy Rinker, 410-414-8459
20 years' experience. Participation. Trained at LaVarenne in Paris. Learn some basics of classic French cuisine in a 4-part series held in the host's home, followed by a sampling of your pastries, crepes, souffles, etc. $200 per 2 1/2-hour session for individuals or $50 per student in class of 4. Maximum 4 students. Single classes also available.
Les Liaisons Delicieuses
Patti Ravenscroft, 202-966-1810
11th year. Participation. Classes in the kitchens of chefs in France or Morocco. $2,190-$5,990 includes accommodations, meals with wine pairings, cooking classes, cultural tours and simultaneous translation. Weekend trips to French-speaking parts of Canada also available; call for more information.
Paula's Parisian Pastries Cooking School
Paula Shoyer, 301-986-8926
2nd year. Participation. Maximum 6 students. Adult classes ($45): Fall French Desserts (Oct. 18), Thanksgiving Tarts and Pies (Nov. 15, 18), Petit Fours for the Holidays (Dec. 1). Parent/child (3- to 6-year-olds, $25) classes: Holiday Baking (Sept. 2) and Introduction to Baking (Oct. 6). Students take home their creations. Chevy Chase location.
Adult Cooking Series
301-475-4 200, ext. 1802
St. Mary's County Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services
1st year. Demonstration. Available topics include: 30-minute meals, pizza-making, pies and tarts, desserts and pastries, and entertaining/ appetizers. Registration for fall sessions opens Sept. 13. Call for details.
A Cook's Quest
1st year. Demonstration/participation. Choose from our team of chefs with wide-ranging experience. Instruction for 1 to 20. Course content ranges from basic knife skills to 4-course meals paired with wine. Italian, French, Asian, Mexican and Southwestern Cuisines, Pastry and Desserts. Prices start generally at $50. Includes recipe handouts, food, equipment, setup and cleanup. Various locations.
ah la mode
Adrienne Hinds, 703-706-9464
5th year. Demonstration/participation. Private lessons in student's home. Topics vary according to interest and skill. About $65 plus materials. Maximum 8 students. Children's lessons available.
Alexandria Community Education
Demonstration class. Cooking for Non-Cooks and Cooking Fundamentals classes. Want to feel confident, organized and well-prepared when trying a recipe for the first time? This class will get you there. Covers meat, seafood, poultry and vegetarian cooking, Purchasing, prepping and calorie-saving tips included. Small groups. Sept. 27 to Nov. 15. Mondays (except Oct. 11). 6:30-9 p.m. Tuition: $80 for Alexandria City residents; $100 for nonresidents, plus $45 ingredient fee. George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria.
America's Healthy Table
Joyce Winslow, 202-686-1747
15th year. Participation. Classes in healthy American regional cuisine taught by Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Recipes approved by cardiologists. Four-class series with weekly themes, such as: Santa Fe Cooking, Wonderful Ways With Chicken and Fish, Gourmet and Holiday Cooking, Pacific Fusion. Thursdays, 7:30-9 p.m. or Sundays 5-7 p.m. . $150 includes recipes and tastings. Maximum 10 students. To reserve, send fee, name, address and phone number to: Joyce Winslow, 2800 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 403, Washington, D.C., 20007.
Anne Arundel Community College Lifelong Learning
More than 25 years. Relax and learn as sensational recipes are prepared by our chefs during demonstration meals. Basic and intermediate culinary classes. Single and multi-session classes available. Call for topics. Evenings and weekends. From $36 to $85 per course. Various locations. (Also see listing under Professional Training.)
Art Institute of Washington, Culinary Arts Program
Chef-director, Daniel Traster
Community Cooking Classes-Demonstration/participation. Monthly classes from Beginner to Advanced Techniques, French, Italian, Thai, Wine Tasting, High School Summer Camp Program, Bread, Vegetarian, Baking and Pastry. See Web site for schedule. Classes $50 to $75 per person. 1820 N. Fort Myer Drive, Arlington (across from the Rosslyn Metro). Mostly Saturdays. (Also see listing under Professional.)
Arlington Public Schools
More than 75 years. Demonstration/participation. Adult classes include: Cooking for the Busy Professional, Cooking Fundamentals, Cambodian Cooking, Japanese Sushi and Cuisine, Tofu Workshop, Cajun and Creole Cooking Made Easy, Caribbean Cooking, Herbs and Spices, Take Control of Your Health and Weight, Nutrition for Children. Evenings and some Saturdays; single- and multiple-session classes. $41-$121 for Arlington residents. Clarendon Education Center, 2801 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 306, Arlington.