Cooler temps, shorter days and the reemergence of our favorite TV line-up means fall has officially arrived. But that chill in the air isn't just the weather; it's the shiver of food folk everywhere as they gear up to get reacquainted with comfort foods, tailgating bites and even — wait for it — holiday recipes. We know better than most that putting away the grill and digging out the dutch oven can be a tough transition, so we've put together a fall line-up of our own: a list of local cooking classes to get us in the spirit. Check them out after the jump.
In addition to their classic classes — Weekday Meals Made Easy, Classic Sauces and a Gnocchi Workshop, to name a few — Sur La Table's Fall cooking class schedule includes Simple Comforts with chicken pot pie and Parmesan pop-overs (October), Dinner Party 101 with spinach salad, wild mushroom risotto and chocolate mousse (October), Holiday Baking Basics with lemon bars and pumpkin spice cake with maple cream cheese frosting (November), Speedy Holiday Dinner Solutions with chipotle pork chops and spicy Thai beef salad, and finally, Sweet and Savory Holiday Gifts, where attendees learn to create edible gifts such as crystallized ginger quickbreads, Mexican hot chocolate and homemade ketchup and mustards. Class costs and times vary, so check listings and make a reservation on Sur La Table's website.
Williams-Sonoma's October schedule is jam-packed with technique-based, product demonstrations and cooking classes. If you're really in need of assistance when it comes to autumnal flavors, look no further. Classes scheduled for October 5 through 9 focus on autumn favorites with demonstrations on making desserts (Oct. 7), dinners (Oct. 8) and even a session dedicated to demystifying the art of roasting (Oct. 9). Next week — October 10 through 16 — is all about squash and pumpkin, with classes exploring the world of root veggies (Oct. 10), pumpkin desserts (Oct. 12), soups (Oct. 14), pastas (Oct. 15) and seasonal sweets (Oct. 16). October 17 through 23 is all about Halloween, with cookie decorating classes (Oct. 19/21) and encouraging kids to get in the kitchen (Oct. 22). Finally, there's no avoiding the fact that Thanksgiving (and family dysfunction) is right around the corner. While Williams-Sonoma can't help with your crazy aunt, they can give you a step up when it comes to breads and spreads (Oct. 24), blended soups (Oct. 26), brining (Oct. 28), pie crusts (Oct. 29) and holiday desserts (Oct. 30). Classes fill up quickly and while some are complimentary, it's best to find your local store and make reservations.
If you prefer paprika over pumpkin pie or consider red curry to be the perfect Fall cuisine, Hipcooks has the ethnic spin you're looking for. With locations in West and East L.A., Portland and Seattle, Hipcooks classes range from tapas to Thai to Greek to Moroccan to Dim Sum (and then some). Cultural cuisine aside, they also offer more classes such as tips on making a romantic dinner for two or a dinner party for 20. Classes start at $45 and fill up fast. Check out Hipcooks' website for locations and complete class schedule.
Surfas, named one of our top ten best cooking supply stores in L.A., offers cooking classes taught by chef Amanda Cushman. This month Amanda will be sharing the secrets behind Southern French Cooking (Oct. 21), breaking down an Autumn Harvest (Oct. 23) and sharing Vegetarian recipes that even carnivores can make and enjoy. Classes start at $75 and can be reserved via Amanda's website. Surfas is located at 8777 Washington Boulevard, Culver City. For questions, call (310) 559-4770.