The 7 Best New Orleans Cooking Classes of 2020

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Cooking Class

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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.  

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: New Orleans School of Cooking

"You’re guaranteed to leave full of knowledge about New Orleans cuisine."

Best Budget: City Park

"Classes cover topics like mixing cocktails, making bread, or selecting seafood, and tend to be held in the botanical garden."

Best for Beginners: Crescent City Cooks

"Classes tend to be small, so the instructor will give you as much attention as you like."

Best for Experienced: New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute

"Learn how to make everything from a New Orleans King Cake to gumbo."

Best for Date Night: Casa Pelican B&B and Cooking School

"Everyone in the class will have a chance to really contribute to the meal."

Best for Groups: Langlois

"Classes can be demo-style, hands-on, history-focused, or competition-style."

Best for Kids: Southern Food & Beverage Museum

"Games and snacking make the classes a hit with young foodies."

Best Overall: New Orleans School of Cooking

New Orleans School of Cooking

New Orleans School of Cooking

Founded in 1980, the family-run New Orleans School of Cooking is the gold standard for Cajun and Creole-style cooking classes. Instead of simply eating out at a restaurant, learn how classic New Orleans cuisine is made before chowing down.

Courses are offered daily and are restricted to a maximum of 10 students per class, making the experience hands-on and engaging. Demo-style classes are also offered most days, in the morning and afternoon, and private events are available. Menus are posted for each morning and evening class, and fun extras are offered like fresh coffee and a bloody mary bar for brunch, and local beer for dinner.

Because the menu changes frequently, you can take a few classes and learn how to make several dishes, including gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish pie, and bananas foster. Book your class early if you want a specific date and time since they tend to fill up. If you don’t want to share your classroom cooktop with a stranger, enroll with a friend or a date. Or, go solo and meet a new cooking buddy. You’re guaranteed to leave full of knowledge about New Orleans cuisine and stuffed with delicious food. Demo classes start at $35.

Best Budget: City Park

City Park

City Park

City Park is more than just a green space. Twice the size of Central Park in New York City, the New Orleans park includes a botanical garden, biking and walking paths, performance spaces, and a golf course. City Park also offers frequent events and classes including gardening, live music, and culinary demonstrations. Classes tend to last about two hours and feature a few dishes with some hands-on elements. Teachers include chefs and mixologists from around the city, and snacking is encouraged.

Classes cover topics like mixing cocktails, making bread, selecting seafood, and more, and tend to be held in the botanical garden. If you decide to take a class, the unique location even allows for some courses to use the garden’s outdoor oven. Purchase tickets ahead of time, and simply show up for a fun, low-key experience. City Park's offerings are always changing, so check the calendar often for new classes. It’s a unique way to support the park while learning something new. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children aged three to 12, and free for children under three.

Best for Beginners: Crescent City Cooks

Crescent City Cooks

Crescent City Cooks

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, Crescent City Cooks offers demo and hands-on cooking classes. If you’re just starting to dive into cooking and don’t want to commit too much time or money to classes just yet, try starting with one of the studio's demonstration classes. Reasonably priced, these classes consist of a talented chef making a few recipes and explaining each step along the way as you watch and learn. Recipes and plenty of tastings are included, making it a nice way to spend an afternoon.

For a more active, traditional cooking school experience, go for the hands-on courses at Crescent City Cooks. Classes tend to be small, so the instructor will give you as much attention as you like, and guide you along the way.

A long list of traditional New Orleans dishes are offered, and the first student to book a class gets to pick the menu, from options like shrimp remoulade to red beans and rice. You can join an already-scheduled class or schedule one of your own for an available date.

The vast, airy space is fully equipped with spaces for prep, cooking, and enjoying the dishes you made as a group. Demo classes start at $18, while hands-on classes cost $150 per person. Contact the staff if you’d like to book a private event.

Best for Experienced: New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute

New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute

New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute

As a certified culinary school, the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (or NOCHI) offers accelerated programs in culinary arts and pastry. But if you aren’t looking to dedicate yourself to cooking full-time, the school also offers enthusiast classes weekday evenings and weekend afternoons.

While these classes are suitable for all skill levels, the professional surroundings, equipment, and chefs make NOCHI especially appealing for experienced cooks. The highly-trained staff can answer all of your questions and show you some more advanced techniques.

Like most cooking schools in New Orleans, their classes skew Cajun and Creole, with some basic and more advanced dishes covered. Learn how to make everything from a New Orleans King Cake to gumbo. If you’re looking to try something different, classes covering a variety of cuisines are offered every few weeks, such as pasta-making and cheese-pairing. NOCHI even offers some cocktail-centric courses.

All classes are excellent for small groups, couples, or individuals, and kitchen space is ample.

Best for Date Night: Casa Pelican B&B and Cooking School

Casa Pelican Cooking School

Casa Pelican Cooking School

Chef Karen offers intimate classes at the Casa Pelican B&B and Cooking School in lovely Algiers Point. An easy walk, drive, or ferry ride away from the French Quarter, it’s a nice escape from the central city.

The kitchen at Casa Pelican has room to work and a large island for prep, but because courses are held in a house, class sizes tend to be small. That means you’ll get more one-on-one time with the chef, and everyone in the class will have a chance to really contribute to the meal. Classes also tend to last at least four hours, with time spent on every element—including eating. The relaxed atmosphere will give you a chance to enjoy your date and socialize with the other students.

Regularly scheduled classes are typically held in the afternoon and include Cajun and Creole Basics, Louisiana Seafood, and a New Orleans Jazz Brunch. A few classes, including Famous Dishes From New Orleans Restaurants and Cocktail Party, are perfect for bringing a date and can be scheduled upon request. Private, build-your-own-menu classes are also available.

No matter what you choose, you’re sure to enjoy wonderful wine pairings since Chef Karen is also a sommelier. Classes start at $100 and increase from there.

Best for Groups: Langlois

Langlois

Langlois

The chefs at Langlois are more than just teachers, they’re performers. They’re as entertaining as they are educational, guiding their classes through culinary history and cooking techniques, while occasionally lighting a pan on fire or sabering a bottle of champagne.

With high-end, customizable menus and flexible locations, Langlois is an excellent choice for group events. Whether you are hosting a birthday party, planning a unique bridal shower, or leading a team-building exercise with colleagues, the classes are sure to leave everyone delighted and full.

The Langlois chefs provide a modern, sophisticated take on classic New Orleans dishes, while still teaching students how to create those signature flavors. Menus are totally customizable for private events—notify the staff of any dietary restrictions ahead of time. Classes can be demo-style, hands-on, history-focused, or competition-style.

If you’re looking to shake things up in the office, try an "Iron Chef"-style class, where teams compete against each other before chowing down. It’s a fun and unique way to bond with co-workers.

Best for Kids: Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Most cooking classes in New Orleans are strictly adults-only, with plenty of wine, beer, and cocktails. The Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) offers these types of classes, including Cajun, Creole, and Creole-Italian classes, but they also offer sessions catered to kids and teens.

Little Cooks classes are for kids ages five to six and their parents, focusing on culinary basics and bonding in the kitchen. Young Chef classes, for kids ages seven to 11, help them start to build kitchen skills like making a roux. Classes are offered twice a month and are an hour-and-a-half long. Kids can choose themes ranging from pie to sushi.

For older kids and teens, SoFAB offers master classes for ages 11 to 14, as well as culinary camps. These are deep dives into more advanced cooking but are still suitable for total beginners. Culinary camps last for one week and are held throughout the summer, with the occasional camp during winter break.

The half-day camps are available for kids seven to 11 and teens 11 to 14, focusing on nutritional and culinary education, in addition to cooking. Games and, of course, eating, make the classes a hit with young foodies. Students can even win prizes as they learn more recipes, including an apron and the chance to choose the next class menu.

SoFAB camp starts at $130 per week for non-members. You'll need to contact the Southern Food & Beverage Museum for Little Cooks pricing.

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