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Summer Diversions: Cooking Classes in Philly

There’s more time to do stuff during summer - perfect opportunity to improve your cooking skills
June 10, 2014
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by Danya Henninger

There’s more time to do stuff during summer. Schedules relax, vacations happen, school’s done, kids go to camp and there’s just more light in the day. Perfect opportunity to improve your cooking skills. Here's how to get a little culinary education in Philadelphia, with plenty of good food to boot.

Paella: Paella Classes at Bar Ferdinand

7 PM, Saturday, June 28, July 26 and August 23

Join chef David Ansill outside the Northern Liberties tapas bar for an alfresco lesson on cooking this classic Spanish pan-fried rice dish. Gather 'round the huge pan and watch the meal come to life while enjoying appetizers before you dig in. Leave with a paella starter kit that includes Calasparra rice, chorizo and paella stock, all for $40 per person. Call 215-923-1313 for reservations.

Upstairs at Vetri: Classes Forthcoming

Various dates and times

The second-floor dining and showkitchen at Marc Vetri's jewel box original is now complete, and he and chef de cuisine Adam Leonti are rolling out a series of special events. Two classes scheduled for July are already sold out, but stay tuned to this page for future happenings, and don't be shy about requesting the waiting list. (Also note there are several special dinners available for reservation as well.)

Sushi: Pod Sushi School

6 PM, Monday-Wednesday, through August 20

Stephen Starr’s sleek West Philly pan-Asian is reprising its popular sushi tutorials. Each class is available to just eight students, who, for their $35, will sit at the conveyor belt sushi bar to watch butchering and practice preparation techniques with in-house master Tomoyuki Takasu. Dinner comes as part of the package, along with a glass of wine, plus a sushi kit to take home for practice. Call 215-387-1803 to reserve your spot.

Ice Cream: Weckerly’s Frozen Flavor Creation

6:30 PM, Thursday, June 19

Jennifer and Andrew Satinsky of Weckerly’s Ice Cream will share secrets of the trade at a one-time class held at Reading Terminal Market’s Rick Nichols Room. Watch demos of how to prepare fruit for ice cream, create cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) and cook a custard ice cream base, all while sampling the finished product. Your $35 ticket (here) also scores you a home-use guide and a voucher for a free pint at Green Line Cafe or Fair Food Farmstand. Visit this page to check for other upcoming Fair Food classes.

Coffee: Joe Coffee Education

Various times and dates

Joe Coffee runs a series of ongoing classes at both the Rittenhouse and West Philadelphia locations. Check out the schedule and descriptions here to choose between subjects like latte art for beginners, how to do coffee cupping, milk steaming techniques and more. Most sessions range from $20-$30 and take place during the evening. (Note: on the calendar page, “Philly” designates the store at 1845 Walnut and “chestnut” means the branch at 3200 Chestnut.)

Wine: Tria Fermentation School

6:30 PM, Friday, June 27

As of this writing, there are still half a dozen spots left for this class at the Tria Fermentation School, the educational branch of the Tria cafes and Tria Taproom, which has been providing vinous knowledge since 2006. Winemaker Sebastián Zuccardi will lead you through a discussion and tasting of Mendoza vineyards and nine Malbec wines. Tickets are $72, here. To get advance notice of future classes, sign up for the weekly Tria email.

Italian Food: La Cucina at the Market

6:15 PM, Friday, June 20 (Date Night; $250 for two)
6:15 PM, Thursday, June 26 (Wine and Cheese; $75)

Though Philly-native Italian-American Anna Maria Florio is no longer based at “the market” (aka Reading Terminal Market), she has moved her popular cooking classes to the Center for Culinary Enterprise in West Philly. Each month she offers a few opportunities to get up close with the cuisine of Italy, enjoying a meal as you work your way through it along with wine pairings. Tickets are available here.

Everything: Cook

Various times and dates

Don’t sleep on the variety of classes available each month at Audrey Claire Taichman’s boutique show kitchen just off Rittenhouse Square. The schedule is released nearly a month in advance, and classes sell out quickly - there are no spots open in June - so sign up for the announcement email (bottom of the schedule page) to have the opportunity to watch and get hands on with the top chefs in the city. You’ll have the chance to learn about pizza, pasta, cupcakes, bagels, hummus, meat, summer fruits and veggies - you name it. UPDATE: July classes go on sale Wednesday, June 11.

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