Sometimes you really do need to feel the heat in order to appreciate what comes out of the kitchen. Whether you’re a hands-on foodie who wants to learn how to cook like a pro, or a stanger to the kitchen that wants to woo your significant other with an expertly prepped meal, Los Angeles offers plenty of ways kick your culinary and mixology skills up a notch.
Faith and Flower
With interiors and a menu inspired by the Roaring ’20s, this critically-acclaimed (and date-worthy) downtown eatery offers a peek behind its bar with its Cocktail 101 class. On top of learning how to create the perfect martini and old fashioned, you can soak up the drinks’ history and presentation tips, as well as enjoy passed apps—and yes, taste-testing the class’ projects is strongly encouraged!
New School of Cooking
Not ready to commit to earning a complete culinary arts degree? Learn how to cook in bite-sized portions from the professors at Culver City’s New School of Cooking, where weekend classes—on the fundamentals of fish, cocktails and appetizers for couples, spring pies, and much more—suit all types of tastes. If your stomach’s still grumbling after polishing off the fruits of your labor, the school’s student-operated cafe next door can top you off with its selection of neat treats.
Institute of Domestic Technology
Forget everything you learned in high school home economics: the Institute of Domestic Technology‘s cooking and mixology classes boast a locally-focused, artisanal, anti-commercial flavor at a host of spaces around LA. The delectable course schedule features a range of “lost art subjects” like pickling, cheese-making, and home coffee roasting, alongside amateur chef basics like knife know-how and home butchery.
With a handful of locations on the West Coast (including four in SoCal), this indie chain of teaching kitchens offers a vibrant and fun setting where class rules include “no measuring ingredients or reading recipes.” The hands-on courses at Hipcooks use organic and local ingredients to create good-for-you meals, including full date night dinners (like salad with goat cheese, a Portuguese seafood stew, and chocolate souffle), handmade pastas and sauces, sushi, and other internationally inspired plates.
Wine lovers are encouraged to uncork their enthusiasm at EATZ, where students of all skill levels can learn how to cook in an intimate dinner party setting. From vegan comfort foods and steakhouse classics to international street fare and an entire Mardi Gras menu, there’s a class to expand every type of palate. Each session kicks off with a round of appetizers to set the mood, and every meal is expertly paired with vino or cocktails.