If you’re trying to shed a few pounds, cooking more meals at home can help.
“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight,” said Julia A. Wolfson, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, who led a study on nutrition.
You can also keep more of your cash. According to Money Under 30, you can save nearly $1,000 a year by switching from eating out to cooking at home twice a week.
But if your culinary skills leave something to be desired, or you’re tired of making the same meals over and over, consider taking cooking classes. The List, a daily TV show that covers pop culture and lifestyle topics, found several across the country that could help you expand your home cooking repertoire.
Santa Fe School of Cooking
Located in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, this family-run cooking school has a decidedly regional flair.
“Every class, no matter what it is, we try to make sure you know you’re here in New Mexico, and we really want to talk about the unique culinary history that we have here in Santa Fe,” the school’s director of operations, Nicole Curtis Ammerman, said in a promotional video posted to YouTube.
Along with specialty courses, a culinary boot camp and demonstrations, they also offer hands-on classes where students prepare tamales, tortillas and other dishes from scratch.
And if you can’t make it to Santa Fe, they have virtual classes online. Check out SantaFeSchoolofCooking.com.
Way Cool Cooking
This Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based cooking school offers custom events and classes for all ages.
Along with lessons on basic kitchen skills, this school provides classes just for kids or for the whole family to learn cooking skills while building memories. They also host corporate parties, culinary team-building events, cooking field trips and summer camps.
Some courses focus on easy recipes or healthy alternatives as well. You can also pick up cooking and baking kits that allow you to make pasta, sushi and cupcakes at home.
New Orleans School of Cooking
This culinary school in Louisiana teaches students how to prepare traditional NOLA cuisine. Instructors teach through open demonstrations to a large room of guests as well as hands-on classes in person.
Classes currently offered cover classic Creole/Cajun meals, such as chicken and andouille gumbo, seafood jambalaya, bread pudding and pralines.
Other Unique Cooking Schools and Classes
Chances are good that you can find a distinctive cooking school near you. Following are several options with multiple locations across the country.
Self Up offers in-person cooking classes, team-building events or chef-led parties. With locations in Boston and New York, some classes available include ones that will let you create an Italian dinner with tiramisu, Asian dumplings and French bistro fare.
HipCooks is a West Coast and virtual cooking school with classes for all skill levels and tastes. Current courses offer lessons on making pumpkin pecan rolls, homemade cavatelli and steaks with chimichurri.
Kitchen on Fire, located in Oakland and Berkeley, California, offers classes led by professional chef instructors. Upcoming classes include an introduction to knife skills, how to make Italian holiday cookies and modern vegan cooking. Virtual classes are available, as well.
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colorado, offers cooking classes for home cooks in person and online. The curriculum provides creative courses in cooking, baking, cake decorating and more. Upcoming courses focus on a plant-based fall harvest menu, holiday appetizers, and holiday cooking, baking and decorating.
These are just some of the cooking classes that’ll boost your skills in the kitchen and inspire you with some fresh recipes to try at home.
By Tricia Goss, for The List.