So you’re not exactly Martha Stewart or Jacques Pepin in the kitchen–you can’t make a perfect omelet and maybe you’ve set off the smoke detector once or twice. Lucky for you there are a bunch of chefs and cooking classes coming up around the city that can teach you how to properly slice, dice, sauté and maybe even en flambé without burning down the house or losing a finger. So don’t be timid about hosting the next dinner party or simple wine and cheese night–these classes (including a bunch coming up this weekend) have got you covered.
Making fresh mozzarella
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
What doesn’t cheese go with or make better? Cork Wine Bar on 14th Street is hosting a beer and cheese tasting class this Saturday, March 24 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM. You can learn how beer connoisseur and previous beer director of Brasserie Beck, Thor Cheston, and local beer distributor of Legend Limited, Tim Nelson, match beers with gourmet cheeses. By the end, you’ll know just the ale to go with that tangy chevre or that blue stilton. Just think: you’ll be ready to host a swanky craft beer and cheese night for friends and you won’t have to even turn on the stove. The class is $40 per person and you can sign up by emailing tastings (at) corkdc.com or by calling 202-265-2675.
The only thing that could round out your new-found knowledge of pairing cheese and beer would be to add a little meat to the mix. Three Little Pigs, the charcuterie and salami store that only opened last week in Petworth, has an entire lineup of classes through most of the summer. Each class is $75 per person and is capped at seven people, and you can sign up to learn everything from making fresh sausages to BBQ basics. Here’s their Spring/Summer schedule and all classes run from 7 to 9:30 PM:
April 19th – Fresh Sausages
May 17th – Spring Chickens
June 21st- Cooking Fundamentals
July 19th – BBQ Basics
You can reserve a spot by calling Three Little Pigs at 202-726-0102.
courtesy of LaTur
So you can make some sausages, but chances are you’re just wading into the world of butchery and meat. At Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar, chef John Critchley and shepherd Craig Rogers of Border Springs Lamb, will show you how to butcher a whole lamb and then prepare various dishes, including lamb tartare, a traditional crown roast and leg of lamb. Afterwards, you’ll have some wine and get sent home with house-made mint jelly and salsa verde for when you try making some lamb dishes on your own. The lamb-centric class on April 21st at 3:30 to 5:30 PM is $50 per person. Check back with Urbana for a class on June 9th about cocktails and classes later in the fall on knife skills and oyster selection, shucking and cooking. You can reserve a spot in one of Urbana’s cooking classes by calling or emailing Lindsey Walker at 202-956-6650 or lindsey.walker (at) urbanadc.com.
It’s not often that you’ll get to see (and help prep food in) one of the best and longest standing kitchen in the city. But at 1789, chef Anthony Lombardo will show you the ropes. The Georgetown restaurant offers cooking classes about once a month, and you get to have a leisurely lunch afterwards served with wine as a reward for all that prep work. The March 24th 10 AM class is focused on pasta and is $100 per person. You can reserve a spot by calling 1789 at 202-965-1789, and check back each month for more classes.
It’s always good to have some French culinary basics up your sleeve, and the Hill Center in Eastern Market has a class on how to cook a simple French lunch coming up on March 31st. You’ll learn how to make a classic cheese souffle, salad, bread and a fruit tart. The class is $75 and runs from 9 AM til 1 PM. You can register for the course online.
Your kitchen repertoire isn’t complete unless you know how to make a good dessert or two. Blue Duck Tavern’s pastry chef Peter Britt will show you how to make a few cherry blossom-inspired sweets, including a rhubarb tart with almond crumble and sakura and a kyoto cherry blossom organic tea sorbet. The pastry class runs this Saturday, March 24 from 3 to 5:30 PM and is $65 per person. Following the pastry class, you can keep your culinary education going by learning about the science and art of tea and blending teas with master tea maker, Garret Chan of Tealeaves. The tea class at Blue Duck Tavern is directly afterwards from 5:30 to 7 PM and costs $45 per person. You can reserve a spot in either class by emailing masters.phwashington (at) hyatt.com or by calling 202-419-6768. And if you’re really ambitious, you can still stick around after both classes for a lamb dinner from BDT’s new chef, Sebastien Archambault.
You say you want a canvolution? Then there’s no better person I know to teach you how to “put up some preserves,” than Cathy Barrow, aka Mrs. Wheelbarrow. I met Cathy two years ago after I heard a piece on NPR about canning and her experience with it. Several classes later, I’ve enjoyed salsa, diced tomatos, peaches in syrup, jams and more that she’s taught me how to make in her kitchen. You can learn all about how to make your own pickles, jams, pie fillings and more through her classes which are $85 each and run from 12-4 this Spring and Summer.
If you don’t make it into some of the cooking classes going on around DC in the upcoming weeks, there’s also a whole host of classes ranging from knife skills to dim sum to gnocchi at the Sur La Table in Pentagon City. And if you didn’t get enough of the 4-1-1 on cheese from the other classes mentioned, check out the monthly classes from Seasonal Pantry and The Cheese Course on April 16th and 23rd at 7 PM. The April cheese classes will feature cheese pairings with wine and local honeys and are $49 per person and you can register online when they are posted.
Clean out the oven of all those pots and pans you never use. Next times friends ask what you’re making for dinner, you’ll have no excuse not to invite them over.