Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), in-person classes may be limited or unavailable. It’s best to call ahead to ensure the availability of classes. For concerns about safety, please consult your primary care physician.
If you're looking to create cuisine like a professional, Milk Street Cooking School is the place to go. The brainchild of cookbook author and founder of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, Milk Street Kitchen is a multimedia company that includes a magazine, a public television show, a digital platform, cookbooks, and an online cooking school.
In addition to its online presence, Milk Street Cooking School has a brick-and-mortar flagship location near the Boston Harbor that offers intensive hands-on experiential classes, as well as demonstrations. Running longer than the average culinary course, the offerings at Milk Street Cooking School last three to four hours.
During that time, you will work in a team of two at your very own cooking station with a stovetop and an oven. Classes are led by a small group of expert teachers who have been specifically trained "the Milk Street Way." After tasting dishes throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to sit down to a complete meal.
Each lesson is designed to focus on specific skills, with the goal of teaching students how to become better, more confident cooks. You will not only use a variety of global ingredients and flavors, but be taught how and why recipes work. And, you can learn how to make everything from tacos to Italian food.
The maximum capacity for hands-on classes is around 16, but cooking demonstrations can accommodate up to around 50 people. Milk Street Cooking School is also available for private events.
Located in the Somerville neighborhood, ArtEpicure Cooking School offers a variety of hands-on cooking classes.
At the space, Chef Mark DesLauriers is the primary instructor, but there are occasionally guest chefs who are invited to teach courses. While Chef Mark received classic European training, he has gained experience in various kitchens around the world—and has taught culinary history at nearby Tufts University.
Courses are mostly Mediterranean-inspired, and themes include Pasta Making, Italian Country Cooking, French Bistro Cooking, and Greek Taverna Cooking. All classes are BYOB, and ingredients are purchased locally when available with a special commitment to purchasing seafood from the New Deal Fish Market in Cambridge.
If you're looking to get a one-on-one education from Chef Mark and his team, private classes are available upon request. This is ideal if you and a date want to make and enjoy a meal in a more intimate setting.
Classes at the school are scheduled monthly for four hours in the evenings and cost around $85 per couple.
Centrally located in the town of Somerville's Davis Square, Dave’s Fresh Pasta is a specialty food market by day and a cooking school by night. While there's a variety of classes to choose from, this spot is best known for its pasta-making lessons.
Course options are broken out into two categories: Classic Cooking Classes and Specialty Cooking Classes. The former features technique-based lessons on some all-time favorite carb-based meals: fresh pasta, ravioli, gnocchi, and risotto, plus a class on basic sauces.
Looking for more of a culinary adventure? Check out the Specialty Cooking Classes, which feature regional-based courses on Greece, Italy, Vietnam, and more. If you want to focus on making specific dishes, there are options for those, too, such as Tortilla Making or Ceviche/Poke classes.
The studio's two-and-a-half-hour sessions are held during evenings and Sunday afternoons. You can expect to pay around $85 per course. An added bonus is that you'll receive a 10% discount on any in-store purchases made.
Best for Farm-to-Table:
The Kitchen at Boston Public Market
If you're looking for a class that focuses on the food you consume, The Kitchen at Boston Public Market is a great place to go. The community gathering space in downtown Boston—near Faneuil Hall—hosts hands-on classes, educational experiences, and tasting demos.
At The Kitchen, there is a particular emphasis on seasonal food that connects guests to local farmers and artisans. One of the reasons why The Kitchen stands out is that it makes a point to host programs that promote sustainability, health, and wellness. Courses are taught by professional chefs and cover different cooking styles and techniques, while highlighting local craft beer, wine, and spirits.
If you want to learn how to cook with—and taste—farm-fresh ingredients, The Kitchen is the spot for you. Class topics range from Mixology and Pasta Making to Asian Street Food and Flavors of the Caribbean. And, for your little ones, there are special “Kids in the Kitchen” workshops.
While some events come at a cost, there are others that are free—like a Plant-Based Cooking Demo.
While Sur La Table is best known for its retail stores that sell kitchen equipment, they also offer an extensive variety of cooking classes. And, the best part? Your kids can enjoy diving into the culinary world in an array of courses, too.
At Sur La Table, in-house, chef-instructors teach the lessons. You'll have the opportunity to learn a variety of both sweet and savory technique-based classes in two hours. Class themes include Cast Iron Cooking, Mommy and Me Baking, Classic French Meal, Knife Skills, Macaron Workshop, Bread Baking, New York Bagel Workshop, Thai Flavors, French Pastry, Vegetarian Comfort Food, and more.
If you have a child or teenager who's excited to try making different types of cuisine, there are plenty of offerings. Sur La Table offers a five-day summer series for them, where they can learn to make dishes like hand pies, stuffed potato skins, veggie fried rice, chicken fingers, bruschetta, and more.
As a bonus, every time you attend a class at Sur La Table, you'll receive a coupon for 10% off in-store purchases for that particular day.
Best for Skills:
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Located just across the Charles River, the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (CSCA) is a professional cooking school with a fantastic, recreational cooking program for all levels and ages. There, chef instructors will share their knowledge and expertise in a variety of classes and workshops.
Although kitchens are professionally equipped, instructors will teach you how to adapt recipes for your home kitchen. Great for individuals, couples, or groups, the hands-on classes at CSCA offer education in technique, global cuisines, seasonal cooking, wine tasting, and pastry-making.
There's even a special, six-week series focused on technique that is offered if you want to boost your skillset and become a serious, home cook. And, at CSCA, there are courses for teens and tweens, ages eight to 17, featuring single-day workshops or several classes over two to three days.
Programs at CSCA generally require more of a time commitment than a typical cooking course, so keep this in mind when you register. When you're there, you should expect to be in a lesson for around four hours.
Founded by renowned Boston chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch, Stir is both a cookbook store and demonstration kitchen.
Located in South Boston, Stir has an open-kitchen setting that makes classes feel inclusive. And, considering the intimate 10-seat space is modeled after Chef Lynch’s home kitchen, it makes sense that Stir provides a truly unique dining experience.
Courses at the studio feature instructors trained under Chef Lynch and Executive Wine Director Cat Silirie and skew European. Class themes include Pasta Tour of Italy, An Evening in Florence, A Tour of the French & Swiss Alps, An Evening in San Sebastian, and more.
Stir offers hands-on workshops, demonstrations, as well as five-course chef’s table dinners. The studio is also the perfect location for a private event. Because of the small space and variety of events on the calendar, hands-on lessons fill up quickly, so make sure you sign up in advance.
Best for Vegetarians:
Helen’s Kitchen Cooking School
Located about 15 miles outside of downtown Boston in the town of Natick, Helen’s Kitchen Cooking School offers small public classes (up to eight people) during the day and in the evening.
Founded in 2005, Chef Helen decided to open her own school with the goal of accessibility. She has since taught more than 1,000 students how to make nutritious meals.
The courses are about three hours long—all taught by Helen herself—and include Knife Skills, Perfect Pizza, Brunch and more. With fun class names like "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," "Tender at the Bone," "Sauce and the City." and "Orgasmic Vegetables," participants are bound to have a good time in these hands-on lessons.
If you have dietary restrictions, you're in luck: Courses are noted as vegetarian-friendly or Paleo-friendly. It's a great way to learn more recipes to add to your repertoire.
At Helen's Kitchen Cooking School, lessons are announced two months in advance, but tend to fill up quickly. There is, however, a waiting list. Classes at the space will set you back around $95 per person.
What Is a Cooking Class?
A cooking class is an in-person event where you can learn various cooking techniques or regional cooking styles from a professional chef. You may choose a cooking class specific to a region, such as French or Italian cooking, or choose one based on a particular technique you'd like to learn, such as desserts, baking, or making items such as pizza or pasta.
How Long Are Cooking Classes?
Most cooking classes have a prep period, followed by the actual cooking process led by a chef. After, you'll sit down and enjoy the meal as a class. Many classes allow you to bring a drink of your choice to enjoy with the meal. Classes last two to four hours, depending on the topic area.
Are There Virtual Options for Cooking Classes?
Although this article is meant to be aimed at in-person classes, many of these companies are also currently offering online classes.
How We Chose the Best Boston Cooking Classes
We chose the best cooking classes based on a variety of criteria, including those that offer advanced techniques, pasta options, and even vegetarian cooking classes.
For example, we chose Cambridge School of Culinary Arts for its six-week class focused on techniques. We chose Helen's Kitchen Cooking School for its vegetarian-friendly classes. And, for carb lovers, we chose Dave's Fresh Pasta.