Learn how to cook in NYC's Upper West Side.
City is known for not only its restaurants but for its raw ingredients. One can find excellent cheeses, seafood and comestibles in Manhattan, along with fun classes to put them all together. Though the Upper West Side is a largely residential area, there are still excellent cooking schools that offer regional menus and customized experiences for travelers.
La Cuisine Sans Peur (Cooking Without Fear)
This intimate French cooking school offers classes for beginner through advanced level students. Pupils can select classes on the regional cuisines of Nice and Upland Provence, charcuterie technique and more. The basic course covers roasted chicken, simple sauces, souffle, pastry dough and many other gourmet specialties in six four-hour sessions. With a top attendance of four students, Chef Henri-Étienne Lévy makes certain that cooking is a fun experience--even for the completely perplexed.
Two Peas and a Pot
Culinary couple Lauren and Paul Ruben take their classes on the road from their home base on West 81st Street. The couple serves hors d'ouevres and drinks then teaches a four-hour cooking class centered around the food theme of your choice. Popular choices include Thai cuisine, comfort food, Indian and French. They also do kids' classes for the youngest of chefs. Every student gets their own cooking station, with individualized help for even the clumsiest cook.
This is a chef for those who want to go healthy. Lee says, "I use organic vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs and nuts; they taste better and are better for you. I personally shop for each class, hand selecting each ingredient. I interview every peach." With a class schedule that include nights and satellite sessions in the Hamptons, it should be easy for a career person to fit in some cooking time. Menus change from class to class, but there is heavy vegetable use. After all, one of Karen Lee's cookbooks is named "The Occasional Vegetarian."
Gigi Starr is a freelance fashion writer. She previously served as the blog editor for a major online fashion blog and has more than a decade of backstage experience in the beauty and high fashion industries. She has worked for businesses like an internationally renowned theatrical touring company and events such as the Mercedes-Benz N.Y.C. Fashion Week.
cooking image by Daria Miroshnikova from Fotolia.com