Learn to Cook in a New York Minute

By Denise Oliveira

There are so many good reasons to take a cooking class in New York City: You’re tired of eating out seven nights a week and would actually like to learn how to make a dish or two; You’re looking for something fun to do with your date; Or perhaps you’re looking for a date. Also, buying someone a cooking class can be a great gift. Whatever your motivation, here are a few options to choose from that don’t require full-time, semester-long commitment. These are all one-time classes that last just a few hours. All of these venues offer classes regularly, so if you miss the ones below, just visit their websites to see what’s coming up next.

Homemade Pasta From Scratch: September 23, 2-4 pm, at Sur La Table, 306 West 57th Street, Manhattan

This cooking supply store includes a demo kitchen where local chefs rotate, teaching their specialties. In this class you’ll work in small groups to make three different pastas and sauces. “Our instructor demystifies the process, walking you step by step through techniques for making perfect dough every time,” the store says. At the end of the class, you get to eat what you made. You’ll receive a 10% discount coupon to use in the store. $69 per person.

A Taste of India: October 1, 1-5 pm, at Julie Sahni Indian Cooking School, 101 Clark Street, Brooklyn

Julie Sahni is a cookbook author, cooking teacher, and former executive chef at two Indian restaurants in NYC. Her most recent book (Savoring India: Recipes and Reflections on Indian Cooking) won the IACP Best International Cookbook Award in 2002. If you like her workshop, you might move on to her 2 or 3-day courses, and maybe even to one of her culinary trips to India.

Bold Southwest Vegetarian Entrees: September 18, 6:30-10:30 pm, at Natural Gourmet Institute, 48 West 21st Street, Manhattan

If chile rellenos with red ancho sauce, fresh corn tamales with avocado salsa, and spiced chocolate espresso pudding sound good to you, then sign up for this hands-on class. Because of where it’s held – the Natural Gourmet Institute – you can rest assured that only organic dairy and eggs will be used. You never know, you might end up signing up for the Institute’s certificate program before the evening ends. $115 per person, includes beer.

Scrumptious Brunches at Home:  September 20, 11 am – 2 pm, Bowery Whole Foods Market, 95 East Houston Street, Manhattan

“This class will teach you how to whip up a batch of perfectly fluffy pancakes, how to make crispy waffles, and how to master the art of stuffing French toast,” Whole Foods says. Next time you crave a delicious brunch, maybe you won’t have to spend 3 hours on line. The class will be taught by cookbook author Hannah Miles. $45 per person.

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