Kristy is a licensed registered dietitian nutritionist and trained culinary professional. She has worked in a variety of settings, including the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Rouge Tomate.
Located in Denver's Lower Highlands area, Stir is a recreational cooking school that offers classes for all levels—from novices to advanced cooks—taught by professional chefs.
An upside of attending a lesson at Stir? It's housed in the early-1900s Weir Building. Besides kitchen space, the cooking school is home to a small bar offering signature cocktails, beer, and wine, open to the public. Hands-on culinary sessions are typically three hours long, and Stir also offers slightly shorter mixology courses at just two hours.
The studio's calendar is jam-packed with options to learn about nearly every type of cuisine, including health-focused and vegan classes, as well as various international food lessons, beer and wine offerings, date night-themed sessions, and technique-based series, like Mastering Sauces and Learn to Cook.
Most importantly, courses at Stir are designed to be fun:
The purple-painted cabinets.
Multi-colored mosaic tiles.
Vibrant aprons signal that the school is designed to spread the joy of cooking.
Colorado Free University (CFU), located at the Lowry campus, offers various three-hour cooking classes for a great deal. The list is not necessarily extensive, as courses are limited. However, they are still high-quality and might be just the right fit for you, depending on your interests.
In addition to introductory classes such as Knife Skills, there are specialty lessons such as Afternoon Tea, Chocolate, and even a Meal Kit series that focuses on time-saving meal prep tips and healthy cooking techniques. The latter is ideal if you want to focus on weekly meal planning at home. Be sure to check the description before attending a course since knives and aprons may not always be provided, and students may be asked to bring their own if necessary.
If you plan to attend classes regularly throughout the year, become a CFU Member, which is only around $25 for the year, and get discounts on lessons when you register. Courses are typically held on weekend days during daytime hours.
Kids' classes at Create are available for both younger children from ages six to nine—where a parent needs to be present—as well as for pre-teens from ages 10 to 14, where kids can learn independently. Course themes cover both sweet and savory and span world cuisines. And, if you want to get the whole family involved, sign up for one of Create's Family Night sessions for everyone ages ten and up.
If your kids can't get enough fun in the kitchen from one class, there is also a Junior Chef Camp program available, where students from sixth to eighth grade can choose from several themed, week-long sessions. They will learn about ingredients, knife skills, basic cooking techniques, and regional dishes; plus, they will take home essential kitchen tools.
Designed for up to 12 guests, three-hour adult lessons are available at Create, as well. Class themes include the Mediterranean, Latin American, Western European, Asian, and the Caribbean and Brunch, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Date Night.
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts offers an extensive recreational class program and its career culinary arts program. The space is set in a contemporary building offering modern, professional culinary courses for all skill levels and interests.
If you're serious about learning anything and everything about cooking, sign up for the Technique series that includes an opportunity to take Butchery classes, Sausage Making, Bread Baking, and Seafood 101, in addition to Basic Knife Skills.
Technique classes are available for both kids and adults and typically run over four days. The Intensive series, for those wanting to go beyond the basics, runs for two weeks at a time. And, if you wish to take a one-time lesson or a few throughout the year, Cook Street offers plenty of additional, single-night sessions.
You will be welcomed with a signature cocktail prepared by the resident sommelier and invited to enjoy some charcuterie upon arrival for all evening sessions. Interested in booking Cook Street for a private event? This is a great space for groups, big and small, and private interactive, hands-on culinary experiences led by professional chefs.
Located in Denver's Montclair neighborhood, The Seasoned Chef is a recreational cooking school that has been around since 1997.
Staffing the largest team of instructors in the Denver area, the cooking studio strives to give guests more confidence in the kitchen through skill-building culinary techniques. There is a range of courses, including themed dinners, seasonal menus, wine tastings, couples' night classes, and regional cuisine.
Lessons are designed to be hands-on and very interactive, with both the chef instructors and other guests. They are generally three hours long and accommodate up to 18 people. After a brief introductory lecture by the instructor and knife skills demo, the cooking begins. Teachers and assistants are available to help provide specific cooking tips and techniques along the way.
At the beginning of each course, you will get a recipe packet, enjoy a light snack, and then choose which dish you want to make during the class. The end of the lesson will ultimately end with a family meal and complimentary wine.
The Seasoned Chef values the social aspect of the meal too and makes a point to encourage lingering at the end of class, so you can chat with the instructor and other guests as long as you like. Private events are available at The Seasoned Chef, and the space frequently holds multi-day workshops for school groups.
You will begin by learning the history of sushi, becoming familiar with the equipment used in crafting the food, and then discover how to use knives to slice and plate the Japanese cuisine properly.
You will make three different types of rolls in addition to nigiri sushi, plus learn about making sushi for parties. You'll also leave the course knowing where to buy specialty ingredients. The class is open to everyone ages ten and up and can accommodate up to 23 people.
Are you vegetarian or gluten-free? No problem. Just mention this on your registration form, and modifications will be made. If you have a large group who wants to learn together, private sushi classes are also available.
If you are dying to know just how an Italian restaurant makes its food so darn delicious, get a behind-the-scenes look at Panzano, located in the Financial District.
Panzano is known for its contemporary Northern Italian cuisine that also focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. Up to 12 guests can attend demonstrations led by the restaurant's chef on the first Saturday of every month.
Demonstrations are approximately $60 per person, usually last around two hours, and feature seasonal dishes such as Porchetta Cavatelli, Colorado Lamb Chops, Nettle-Infused Spaghetti, and Corn Ravioli. Menu items are listed in advance on Panzano's Events page.
During the course, you'll be seated at a counter where you can watch the chef walk by preparing the featured menu item. But don't worry, you won't just be observing: You will be served a packed lunch, including the dish that is being made before your eyes.
Taking a lesson at Panzano is the perfect weekend activity for you and a friend, a day date, or a solo adventure.
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?
While the options in this article are focused on in-person classes, some of the companies, such as Create Cooking School and The Seasoned Chef, offer online classes, as well
How We Chose the Best Denver Cooking Classes
We chose the best cooking classes based on a variety of criteria including those that offer regional cooking, budget options, and even cooking classes for kids.
For example, we chose Panzano for its Italian cooking classes. We chose Colorado Free University for those on a budget. And for kids' classes, we chose Create Cooking School because of its Junior Chef Camp program.