AFRIEND of mine has a fear of frying so serious that it keeps him out of the kitchen. He refuses to cook because he can't imagine anything more humiliating than greeting dinner guests with the thick smell of a burned roast and Jell-O that refused to jell in his refrigerator.

Because of it all, his cooking creativity is limited to varying degrees of scrambled eggs, and he prefers eating canned spaghetti and meatballs to fresh grilled swordfish.

All he really needs is a little class -- in southern Italian cooking. Once he learns to make a basic tomato sauce, he'll know the only thing he really needed to fear was improper use of a can opener.

You can be phobia-free and still learn something from the looks of this year's cooking-class list on Page E18. We've doubled the length and expanded the different categories for easier reference. There are classes for beginners, children, singles and doubles in everything from wine to wedding cakes to Yugoslavian cooking.

When possible, we have included the course title, time, date, area located, telephone number and fee. There is not enough space to list every detail, so telephone inquiries are necessary. This is the only extensive guide to cooking classes The Washington Post will publish in 1981-82, so those who think they're interested in attending a class in the winter or spring should cut out this list and save it.

The information printed here was provided 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. When the information was available, we have indicated the number of years a teacher has given the class.

Interpreters are provided by Gallaudet College for groups of three or more deaf persons interested in taking a class. Call (202) 651-5597 for more information.

Readers interested in attending cooking schools outside the Washington area are advised to write the Washington-based Association of Cooking Schools, 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Be sure to specify the region of interest and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The Association has more than 400 member schools across the country.