Whether you want to simply learn some cooking basics, find out how to cook ethnic cuisine, or discover how to make sophisticated dishes at home, you can find the right cooking class in Austin. Some are large, demonstration-only while others allow a personal, hands-on experience. Read on to learn about some of the facilities around Austin that offer cooking classes to the public.
The infamous Whole Foods Headquarters on South Lamar offer dozens of cooking classes every month. Most classes are $45 or $65. They teach classes on everything from basic knife skills to Indian sauces to couture cupcakes. If you don't have enough time or money for a regular class, you can attend one of their Lunch Express courses, which is an inexpensive, one-hour cooking class during lunch time. They also offer private classes.
Central Market offers cooking schools at both of their locations (Westgate and North Lamar). You can take classes on how to bake artisan bread, how to roll sushi, feasts on Southern Turkish food, making chocolate desserts, a gnocchi workshop, and more. Some are hands-on classes, some are demonstrations, and some are prepared feasts. They offer some couples cooking classes. Most classes range from $45-$75.
At this Thai restaurant and grocery, you can take both public and private cooking classes. All classes are small and hands-on, and there are open sessions for questions. You can take classes for popular Thai dishes, Thai noodle dishes, vegetarian dishes, Thai curries, Thai street foods, and more. They offer some classes using only local ingredients.
The University of Texas offers informal classes, which are taught by local professionals and available to anyone who wants to sign up. Some are one-time classes, while others meet multiple times a week or month. They offer classes in anything and everything, but there are usually always some cooking classes at any given time. Classes are constantly being added and removed, but you can find courses in areas such as cake decorating, cooking basics, Indian cooking, vegan cooking, and wine and cheese pairings.
Carla Gonsalves, who runs The Spice Route, is from Goa, which is a former Portuguese colony in India. She uses the cooking skills she developed at a young age and her numerous family recipes to teach others how to create homemade Indian food. You can take public classes at her house (four people minimum, eight maximum) or have private lessons in her home or yours.
Most classes at this bake shop are open to all experience levels, and children are generally welcome. They have public classes but are also open to private groups. You can learn how to decorate cookies, make truffles, and decorate cakes (there are three levels of courses for cake decoration). Another option is to sign up for the Decorator's Table, which allows you to spend a day watching the pastry chef decorate cakes.
At Table offers culinary workshops, classes, and events. The classes are informal and range from six to 20 participants. In addition to demonstration and instruction, you also learn about the culture and art of that cuisine. You can take classes in how to cook things such as Indian homestyle cuisine, super power foods, and foods for athletes. You can take multi-week courses in basic cooking skills. At Table also offers a seasonal book club in which you read a book about the world of food and enjoy a light meal together.
Rukaiya Kanchwala grew up in an Indian immigrant family living in Kuwait, where she spent much of her childhood cooking with her mother. Rukaiya's Kitchen offers small, hands-on classes where you learn how to cook Indian Fusion cuisine. She does not use measurements, but instead teaches you how to cook to taste. All classes are three hours and cost $40. If you attend four classes, your fifth class is free. At the end of each class is a party in which you can enjoy your hard work.
Malaga, a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in downtown Austin, offers wine and cooking classes on certain Tuesdays. Malaga's Chef Alejandro Duran teaches participants how to make some easy and delicious dishes and which wines to pair with them. Classes are meant to be fun and social. If you can't make one of the public classes, you can have private classes with your friends at your home or in the restaurant.