A friend once told me that every time he breaks up with a girl friend, he soothes his bleeding heart by taking a cooking class. Working on the basis that mostly women take cooking classes, he usually finds a new girl friend. Over the years he's worked his way from basic chop-and-boil to koulibiac of salmon. He's settled down now with a stunner from a class in coddled eggs and cocottes.

The moral of the story is that whatever the motivation, there are as many different cooking classes as there are tastes.

This year's list, presented on page E9, includes the course title, time, date, location and fee for each class when possible. There isn't sufficient space to list every individual class in some cases, so the basic information has been given without additional details. To find out more about the individual classes, call the number given. This listing will be the only extensive guide to cooking classes The Post will publish for the 1979-80 academic year, so those who think they might want to begin a class in the winter or spring should cut this list out and save it.

The information printed here was sent in by the teachers. Due to the large number of schools and classes, the Food Section has not been able to visit them all and therefore offers no recommendations. Whenever the information was available, we have indicated the number of years a teacher has been giving classes. Readers who are interested in attending cooking schools outside the Washington area are advised to call the Washington-based Association of Cooking Schools, 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW (293-7716). The Association has more than 300 member schools across the country.