By Mark G. McLaughlin for SpeakEasy
There are all levels of home cooks - from the college student looking to cook on a budget, to their more established neighbors eager to experiment, or those seeking to master or at least foray into the culinary unknown. For anybody seeking to raise the standards at their table, or just put something edible on it, here are five options for great cooking classes in Boston.
The Elephant Walk
900 Beacon St.
Boston, MA 02215
The Elephant Walk counts among its founders a former diplomat whose service and life spent in Cambodia, France and other parts of the world provided the inspiration not only for a restaurant but also a cooking school. Several levels of classes are offered, some of which last for three hours while others can take all day. The chefs teach Cambodian and French cooking, as well as a fusion of the two, but also help their students learn how to prepare vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free dishes. Many classes also start with a visit to local Asian markets to introduce students to ingredients with which they may not be familiar – and which they will use in the dishes they are taught how to prepare.
ArtEpicure Cooking School
1 Fitchburg St.
Somerville, MA 02143
The historic Brickbottom Artists Building in Somerville makes for a very inviting as well as very inspiring setting for the master chefs who teach students all about the culinary arts. They offer a wide variety of classes for individuals and groups, including classes in traditional, world, gourmet, and experimental cooking. Gift certificates are available, and they even host dinner parties as classes. Award-winning Chef Mark DesLauriers is the primary instructor, but he often invites other chefs from around the area to impart their knowledge to his students.
102 Waltham St.
Boston, MA 02118
Part cookbook book store, part private demonstration kitchen for noted Chef Barbara Lynch, Stir is also a cooking school. Lynch and her talented staff teach their skills to small groups of six or fewer, and teach about everything "from raw milk cheese to classic cocktails" as their site claims. There are hands-on classes in making pasta and sauces, in creating and serving a full dinner menu as well as demonstration and cookbook classes where the chefs do most of the work and the students mostly observe. Stir also offers classes in wine-pairing, which of course includes tasting the wines and the dishes they best accompany.
Related: Boston's Best Italian Cooking Classes
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
2020 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02140
The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) is no mere cooking school. This is an academy designed to create professional chefs, but one that also offers a second, lower level of what it calls "recreational" cooking classes. Whether someone is looking to make a career in the kitchen or just make their own kitchen classier, CSCA is perhaps the single best place for either to go in the Boston area. It has a long and storied history, a tremendous reputation, and a staff that are both welcoming and effective in imparting their skills.
Boston Center for Adult Education
122 Arlington St.
Boston, MA 02116
The Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) offers courses in everything from computers to writing, and, delightfully, in cooking. Their course offerings range from the very basic to the highly skilled, and are affordable and varied. There are classes devoted solely to baking, to creating beverages, to making dim sum and to putting on "Celebrity Chef" style dinners, among many others. The latter are taught by actual celebrity chefs, while each of the more than two dozen other culinary classes offered by the BCAE have experts of similar caliber as instructors.
Related: Family Fun Guide To Best Boston Kids Cooking Classes
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