The 8 Best Denver Cooking Classes of 2020

Improve your culinary skills and enjoy a new type of cuisine

Cooking Class

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Stir Cooking School

"Hands-on cooking classes are typically three hours long, and Stir also offers mixology courses which are two hours long."

Best Budget: Colorado Free University

"There are specialty classes such as Afternoon Tea, Chocolate, and even a Meal Kit course, that focuses on healthy cooking techniques."

Best National Chain: Sur La Table - Cherry Creek North

"Choose from themes like Cast Iron Cooking, Mommy and Me Baking, Bread Baking, Classic French Meal, Knife Skills, and more."

Best for Kids: Create Cooking School

"There is also a Junior Chef Camp program, where students from sixth to eighth grade can choose from several themed, week-long sessions."

Best for Skill-Building: Cook Street

"Technique classes are available for both kids and adults and typically run over a period of four days."

Best for Variety: The Seasoned Chef

"There is a range of classes including themed dinners, seasonal menus, wine tastings, couples' night classes, and regional cuisine."

Best for Sushi Making: SLICED! Sushi Making Class

"You will learn about and create all types of sushi, culminating in a family meal with your rolls, miso soup, and green tea."

Best for Italian: Panzano

"At Panzano, you will enjoy seasonal dishes such as Porchetta Cavatelli, Colorado Lamb Chops, Nettle-Infused Spaghetti, and Corn Ravioli."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Stir Cooking School

    Stir Cooking School

    Stir Cooking School

    Located in the Lower Highlands area of Denver, 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. And, in addition to 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 mixology courses, which are slightly shorter, 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, and vibrant aprons signal that the school is designed to spread the joy of cooking. 

  • 02 of 08

    Best Budget: Colorado Free University

    Colorado Free University

    Colorado Free University

    Colorado Free University (CFU), located at the Lowry campus, offers a variety of 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 basic 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. 

    Also, 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. 

  • 03 of 08

    Best National Chain: Sur La Table - Cherry Creek North

    Sur La Table - Cherry Creek North

    Sur La Table - Cherry Creek North

    While Sur La Table is known for its retail stores, they also offer a variety of cooking courses, including a series specifically designed for kids and teens.

    Taught by their own in-house chef-instructors, classes of 16 are broken out into teams of four where you will have the opportunity to learn in both sweet and savory technique-based lessons.

    Choose from themes like Cast Iron Cooking, Mommy and Me Baking, Bread Baking, Classic French Meal, Knife Skills, Macaron Workshop, New York Bagel Workshop, Thai Flavors, French Pastry, Vegetarian Comfort Food, and more. 

    Or, book a class for your next Date Night, where you and your sweetheart can enjoy a four-course meal (including dessert), centered around international themes such as South American Steak Night, Bold Tuscan Flavor, and From Paris With Love.

    And there's even a bonus when you take a lesson from Sur La Table: You get a coupon for 10% off in-store purchases the day of class. You can leave the course with more kitchen knowledge and a new cooking utensil or two.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Kids: Create Cooking School

    Create Cooking School

    Create Cooking School

    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 10 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. There, they will learn about ingredients, knife skills, basic cooking techniques, and regional dishes, plus, they will get to take home some essential kitchen tools.

    Designed for up to 12 guests, three-hour adult lessons are available at Create, as well. Class themes include Mediterranean, Latin American, Western European, Asian, and Caribbean, as well as Brunch, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, and Date Night.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for Skill-Building: Cook Street

    Cook Street

    Cook Street

    Cook Street School of Culinary Arts offers an extensive, recreational class program in addition to its career culinary arts program. Located on Broadway bordering the Capitol Hill neighborhood, 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 a period of four days. The Intensive series, for those wanting to go beyond the basics, runs for two weeks at a time. And, if you just want to take a one-time lesson or a few throughout the course of the year, Cook Street offers plenty of additional, single-night sessions.

    For all evening sessions, you will be welcomed with a signature cocktail prepared by the resident sommelier and invited to enjoy some charcuterie upon arrival. Interested in booking Cook Street for a private event? This is a great space for groups, big and small, and for private interactive hands-on culinary experiences led by professional chefs.

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Variety: The Seasoned Chef

    The Seasoned Chef

    The Seasoned Chef

    Located in the Montclair neighborhood of Denver, 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. Plus, in the summer, kids' camps are offered for ages 11 to 17.

  • 07 of 08

    Best for Sushi Making: SLICED! Sushi Making Class

    SLICED! Sushi Making Class

    SLICED! Sushi Making Class

    Chefs from two of the hottest spots in the Platt Park area, Sushi Den and Izakaya Den, teamed up to share their knowledge about all things sushi. At Sliced!, you will learn about and create all types of sushi, culminating in a family meal that includes over 20 pieces of sushi, miso soup, and green tea.

    You will begin by learning the history of sushi, becoming familiar with the equipment used in crafting the food, and then discover how to properly use knives to slice and plate the Japanese cuisine.

    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 10 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. 

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Italian: Panzano

    Panzano

    Panzano 

    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 and has received numerous awards, including being named one of Zagat’s best restaurants in America. 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 through the preparation of the featured menu item. But don’t worry, you won’t just be observing: You will be served a full 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.