As a frequent traveler, I’ve found one of the best ways to connect with a another culture is through cooking classes. Some include tours of vibrant markets before a hands-on cooking experience in a local grandma’s home, while others involve watching famous chefs prepare gourmet meals in high-tech kitchens. The one thing they all have in common: people with a passion for great food and everything their home city has to offer. Here are a few cooking classes to try in New York.
De Gustibus Cooking School: Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall in the kitchens of renowned chefs? De Gustibus Cooking School is about as close as you can get. Celebrated chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali and Rachael Ray, have lead cooking demonstrations at the school since its founding in 1980. You’ll enjoy plenty of wine and a multicourse meal prepared right in front of you. Located in Macy’s Herald Square, the center’s state-of-the-art Miele kitchen, with large LED screens, ensures you won’t miss any of the action. It’s a lively environment with ample opportunities to ask the chefs questions and learn their cooking techniques. Classes start at $100. 151 W. 34th St., 212.239.1652
Milk Bar: Want to learn to bake like a two-time James Beard award winner? Milk Bar, the cult-followed bakery founded by “Masterchef” judge Christina Tosi, will show you how during two-hour classes at its Williamsburg classroom. You’ll learn how to make chocolate malt cakes, crack pie, truffles and other recipes from Tosi’s “Momofuku Milk Bar” cookbook in a fun, hands-on environment. Classes are $95. 55 Hope St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 347.577.9504
Murray’s Cheese: Murray’s Cheese designs its courses very seriously, employing some of the best sommeliers in NYC. You can choose from an appealing array of classes, including mozzarella making, whiskey cocktails and cheese, wine and cheese 101, and sparkling wine and cheese, all priced between $75 and $125. 254 Bleecker St., 888.692.4339