Eating + Drinking

Cooking Your Way Through New York

Whether you're a beginner or more experienced in the culinary arts, anyone can brush up on kitchen skills with these classes.

Photo by Shutterstock

Your New York kitchen is likely tiny—but that doesn’t mean your cooking skills have to be. Many of the world’s top chefs honed their technique in New York City’s leading restaurants and culinary schools, and now you can, too. Cooking schools, restaurants, and specialty shops throughout the city host classes to help you know your flambé from your frappe and your confit from your coulis. Chef hats not included.

The Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost Street, Williamsburg
This cookware and specialty ingredients store has two levels of cooking classrooms, where instructors teach everything from basic knife skills and sushi making to fresh pasta making. Many classes are geared toward newbs rather than burgeoning Bourdains, and that includes kids. That’s right, your 9-year-old could be mastering your mis en place in no time. Class costs range from about $45 (for a kids course), to $150 to improve your butchering chops.

Photo courtesy of The Brooklyn Kitchen

Murray’s Cheese Shop, 254 Bleecker Street (between Cornelia and Leroy Streets), Greenwich Village
If you’re interested in arranging the perfect cheese plate, pairing wine with its distinct cheese complement, or even making your own mozzarella, the classes at the iconic Murray’s Cheese have you covered. Come for the mozzarella-making thrills, stay for the super-cool cheese cave tour with a wise—and pungent!—cheesemonger. Warning: You will eat a lot of cheese, so think about going easy on grub before you hit class.

Photo courtesy of Murray’s Cheese

Osakana, 290 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg
This Williamsburg fish market sells high-quality East Coast seafood and teaches you how to make the most of it. At their group classes, you’ll learn to prepare and cut fish for sashimi, sushi, and ramen using their no-waste philosophy. Or, book a private class for you and your family or group of friends and you can roll the sushi right in your own digs. We’re psyched for their ramen-making class, which promises the secrets to broth seasoning, the perfect ramen egg, and poke-style fish. Group classes cost $35 per person, while private and semi-private lessons go for $50 to $100 in most cases.

Photo courtesy of Osakana

International Culinary Center, 462 Broadway (at Grand Street), Soho
In addition to serving as the premier culinary school in New York, ICC offers multiday workshops (costing about $500 to $1,750), one-day recreation classes (for about $195), and continuing education classes to further your culinary education. Learn everything from essentials in cuisines, ranging from Italian to Japanese, to pastry baking. You can even brush up on your food styling if you’re looking to up your Foodstagram game. (Or Seefood skills, for all you Silicon Valley fans out there.)

Photo courtesy of The International Culinary Center

League of Kitchens, locations vary
Held in kitchens and homes across the boroughs, the League of Kitchens offers cooking classes unlike any other. Learn from accomplished home cooks, who will demonstrate their cultural cuisines, ranging from Bengali to Lebanese to Argentine and beyond, all in the comfort of their own kitchens. If you need to get out of your everyday cooking rut, these five hour-long classes will definitely spice things up. We’ve covered League of Kitchens previously—and maintain that now is the perfect time to learn about the immigrant experience in NYC in a most delicious way. Personally, we’re in training (it involves building up a tolerance for spicy food and day-dreaming, mostly) for a Bengali session—those samosas and homemade chutneys aren’t going to eat themselves, after all.

Photo courtesy of The League of Kitchens

Milk Bar, 55 Hope Street, Williamsburg
Learn to bake like cake goddess Christina Tosi (she’s not teaching, but you’ll learn her techniques) with Milk Bar’s Bake the Book series. In two hours you’ll garner what it takes to master a Milk Bar recipe and even go home with your homemade Milk Bar treat! Think: crack pie, layer cakes, and truffles in all of Tosi’s signature fun flavors. No matter how you feel about Tosi’s cereal milk soft serve ice cream, we’re pretty sure you will feel amazing leaving this class on a massive sugar high. All classes cost $95 per person.

Photo by Marion Doucet

Institute of Culinary Education, Brookfield Place (at 225 Liberty Street), Financial District
This culinary school offers daily workshops that cover a range of hands-on lessons, from making gingerbread houses and pasta to more advanced sessions in steak-house and Mediterranean cooking. If you can dream it, this place offers it. Thai curry? Yes, please! Farmer’s market ingredients? Yep. Or do comfort foods make you more… comfortable? One WSWD staffer says the vegetarian cooking class changed the way she cooks vegetables—and her carrot soup was one of the tastiest dishes she’s ever made. High praise!

Photo courtesy of Institute of Culinary Education

La Scuola at Eataly, 101 Liberty Street, 3rd Floor (at Trinity Place), Financial District; 200 Fifth Avenue (at West 23rd Street), Flatiron
Italian food obsessives should enroll in one of Eataly’s cooking classes, where you’ll learn how to make pasta from scratch, roll gnocchi, and create multicourse feasts inspired by dishes from all over Italy. You probably won’t see Eataly’s famous and famously Croc-happy founder, Mario Batali, at any of these foodie frenzies, but you will be in great hands with the school’s talented chef-instructors. And that’s as fresh as the pasta you’ll learn to make. Speaking of dough: these lessons come in at about $40 to $125.

Photo courtesy of Eataly