Few things in life are as rewarding a well-crafted home-cooked meal. No worries if you aren't a master chef; there are plenty of classes out there to help you perfect your techniques -- whether that might be fashioning sushi at home or honing your pasta-making skills.
We've rounded up our five favorite cooking classes in Los Angeles to help you accomplish those awesome skills. So set aside three hours, grab a date and take some notes. Turn the page.
5. Taste of Pace:
Located in a downtown L.A. studio on Mateo Street, Taste of Pace is a catering service with bi-weekly cooking classes for roughly $85 per person. They're all about seasonal cuisines and capitalizing on the latest produce from local farmer markets. The educational experience is a communal one -- students are expected to divide and conquer different dishes. At the end of each class, you'll get to enjoy your dinner and sip on complimentary wine. 652 Mateo St., #207, Los Angeles; 213-537-0056.
There are two locations in Los Angeles (Eastside and Westside) and they specialize in themed classes. So if you're feeling up for sushi or want to whip up a big fat Greek meal for the family, Hipcooks has you covered. Expect a dozen or so people per class ($65). The instructors are good about giving demos on different techniques. Oh, and it's BYOB. Overall this class is particularly suited for social hour or a date night. 2833 S Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles; 310-841-2738.
Le Cordon Bleu is the place to go if you want a no-frills cooking experience. It's also the priciest, at $99 per class. But students get their own personal stations and a completely hands-on experience, with culinary students at the side to help wash dishes and troubleshoot. It's not much of a social experience, but for some that's preferable. The best part is that you'll get to make each dish by yourself: The class starts off with a demo by the instructor, students are handed recipes and the rest of the time is spent on cooking. Be sure to bring containers and bags to carry your dinner home. 521 E Green St., Pasadena; 626-377-9432.
Led by architect-turned-cooking instructor Yoko Isassi, Foodstory is a cooking class series focused on Japanese recipes inspired by Issai's upbringing in the countryside of Japan. The sessions are held in her downtown loft and Issai makes a point not only to pass down cooking techniques, but she supplements each dish with cultural and historical commentary. Pricing can range from $30 to $65. There are monthly udon, takoyaki and tofu classes. 460 S Spring St., Los Angeles; 310-853-3663.
Saute Culinary is owned and operated by chef Alexander Reyes, who has racked up more than two decades of professional cooking experience and a seven-year stint as a prof at Le Cordon Bleu. Reyes has recruited fellow Le Cordon alumns as his instructors; classes run for about $65 with lessons ranging from knife skills to quick breads. The three-hour long session starts off with a lecture and recipe brief -- and then students are put into their own individual stations with cooking demos in between. Bring a tote bag because you're going to need it for all the food you'll be making. Kid classes are also available. 14 E Duarte Rd., Arcadia; 626-429-2323.
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Follow Squid Ink at @LAWeeklyFood and check out our Facebook page. Clarissa blogs at clarissawei.com. Follow her on Twitter or on Facebook.