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Food & Drink

Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

May 16, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Chef Poon

Photo Credit: Chef Poon

Philadelphians love food. They love to eat it, buy it and talk about it, and they especially love when it can be made at home. Enrollment in recreational cooking classes has increased by leaps and bounds in the past several years, due, in part, to the popularity of television cooking programs like “Top Chef” and “Next Food Network Star.” With the range of cooking classes offered in Philly and the amazing chefs teaching them, these classes churn out some neighborhood winners.

la cucina at the market thinkstock Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

La Cucina at the Market
Reading Terminal Market
51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-1170
www.lacucinaatthemarket.com

Prices: Vary depending on class
Classes: See a class schedule here

Anna Maria Florio brings her love of Italian cooking and traditions to the table with her cooking classes at the Reading Terminal Market, winning Philly Magazine’s Best of Philly 2011 Best Cooking Class. Some recent classes include “Making Fresh Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1,2,3″ and “Pizza Party.” Instead of body shots and plastic tiaras, some bachelorettes are donning aprons and toques and learning how to make gnocchi or pesto. Of course, these are still bachelorette parties, which means La Cucina provides plenty of laughter and jocularity, as well as cocktails. Most classes run from $65 to $85 per person.

Related: 2011 Tasted Good: Top New Philadelphia Restaurants

restaurant school at walnut hill college Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Restaurant School At Walnut Hill College

The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College
1809 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 222-4200
www.walnuthillcollege.edu

Prices: Vary depending on class
Classes: See a class schedule here

Since 1974, The Restaurant School has been producing the finest chefs and restaurateurs in the country. However, did you know that regular Joes can learn here, too? Let the acclaimed chef instructors teach you how to make a perfect soufflé or petit fours in just one day. If you have more time, you can take Introduction to Culinary Arts (six weeks) or a hands-on, vegetarian cooking course (four weeks). One-day workshops range from $65 to $125, and four- to six-week sessions start at $275. All classes are held in the Allison Building on Walnut Street.

cook Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Cook

Cook
253 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 735-2665
www.audreyclairecook.com

Prices: Vary depending on class
Classes: See a class schedule here

Part cooking class and part chef’s table, Cook’s classroom is a state-of-the-art instructional laboratory. Philly’s local chefs teach, entertain and feed students, and then hang out with them afterward, perhaps with a glass of wine. Past instructors have included Georges Perrier, Aimee Olexy, Joe Cicala and Massimo Bruno. Some of its more cleverly named classes have been “Jonny Had a Little Lamb: A Nose to Tail Lamb Feast” with Jon Cichon of Lacroix and “Casablanca Dreamin’: An Evening of Moroccan Cuisine” with David Katz of Meme and his lovely mother, Suzanne. Act quickly if you want to get in on the action, because classes, which start at $80, fill up quickly.

chef poon Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Chef Poon

Chef Joseph Poon Hands-on Cooking Classes
1010 Cherry St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 928-9333
www.josephpoon.com

Prices: Vary depending on class
Classes: See a class schedule here

When Chef Joe Poon isn’t appearing on television or radio (he’s been on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” among many others), penning cookbooks (his latest is Life is Short, Cooking is Fun), giving tours of Chinatown (his Wok ‘n Walk Tour of Philadelphia Chinatown was featured on Food Network’s “The Best Of…” as one of the best culinary tours in the country) or doing seemingly endless philanthropic deeds, he can be found teaching lively classes in the art of dim sum, noodle making and sushi. He even offers classes for kids. Many of Chef Poon’s classes start with a trip to the local Asian grocery for ingredients and impromptu lessons in nutrition or Chinese history, and end with a delightful meal with the chef, complete with tea and dessert. Classes start at $39.

chocolate cake for fantes thinkstock Top Cooking Classes In Philadelphia

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Fante’s
1006 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-5557
www.fantes.com

Prices: Vary depending on class
Classes: See a class schedule here

On Saturdays for almost 50 years at Fante’s Italian Market, young and old have been taking lessons in cake decorating, baking and the handling of chocolate. Master Decorator Deborah DiCintio Lang has been teaching students how to pipe borders, roll fondant and create icing roses. Try your hand at creating these sweet-tooth treats by attending a class. Prices range from $25 to $100, excluding the cost of materials. Also, you’ll walk away with more than just greater expertise–being one of Ms. Lang’s students entitles you to a 10% discount in the kitchen store.

Related: Top Spots for Italian Food in Philadelphia

Trish Deitemyer is a freelance writer living in Philly. She covers Food & Drink and has been writing since 1986. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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