Kitchen Adventures: The City Kitchen Cooking Class

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communal dinner after communal cooking

A while back, I took a cooking class at ICE in New York and swore off professional courses for a long, long time. It’s not that the class wasn’t educational, it just simply wasn’t fun. The teacher instructed us like a slave driver, the air conditioner broke, and I was tasked with chopping onions for two hours for a 20-serving dish. By the end of it I was starving, my eyes were burning, and I smelled like onions for days. To ICE’s defense, we received a refund to make up for almost dying in the boiling kitchen, but the experience forever tainted my romanticized view of cooking school.

Fast forward to last week, when I signed up for The City Kitchen‘s “Fall Farmers Market” cooking class in SF to see my bff Sarah’s sister in action as one of the Head Instructors.   The 3.5 hour time commitment made me nervous, but upon being greeted with a massive cheese board in a beautiful loft space, my flashbacks of scary cooking teachers subsided. I could at least drink freely here without getting my hand slapped (yes, this happened). The City Kitchen’s classes are perfect – their beautiful North Beach event space makes for a comfortable and homey environment, and the instructors take care of all of the grueling and boring prep work to leave participants with the fun stuff – drinking, socializing, some cooking, and assembling. There’s just enough hands-on work to really feeling like you’re contributing, but not so much that you’re sweating like a sous chef at a 5-star restaurant by the end of it. Most importantly, every dish we learned to make – baby kale salad with persimmons, quail with wild rice risotto, halibut with celery root pureeapple tarte tatin – was hearty and awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I just made a family-sized portion of the apple tarte tatin tonight. I must have learned something, because it was crispy, buttery, sweet, tart, and plain and simply dee-lish!

Chef Meghan teaching us how to cut bacon

Chef Meghan teaching us how to cut bacon

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Sarah and I working on the tarte tatin

Tarte tatin ramicans

Tarte tatin ramekins

quail and wild rice risotto appetizer

quail and wild rice risotto appetizer

halibut with realllly crispy bacon

halibut with realllly crispy bacon

Sarah and mommy

Sarah and mommy

Individual rosemary tarte tatin. How amazing does this look?

Individual rosemary tarte tatin. How amazing does this look?

my skills put to test at home

my skills put to the test at home

If you’re ever in SF and looking for a fun and unique after-work activity, or want to plan a customized event for your team or for your friends, I highly recommend The City Kitchen. They’ve got the recipe for the perfect class experience down (Always accessible cheese plate + Wine + Short Lecture + Assisted Cooking at Station of Choice + Family Dinner), and their classes are only $90 – far cheaper than the horrible ones I’ve tried in New York.  And if you aren’t able to make it to Sf for a class, check out their videos, which are fun to watch as well.

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2 Comments

Filed under Featured U.S. City Posts, Kitchen Adventures

2 responses to “Kitchen Adventures: The City Kitchen Cooking Class

  1. That sounds like a really cheap cooking class. I have had really good cooking class experiences and also really bad ones too. I went to in in Istanbul in a lady’s house we pretty much chopped everything and did the first part of the cooking and then the lady’s assistant took it to the second kitchen and finished everything off. It did not feel like cooking.

  2. Thank you for the awesome write up! We are so so thrilled that you enjoyed the class. It is designed to be informative and interactive, while being fun and social. Please come again – we loved having you in the class.

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