Pretty much everyone we know is obsessed with food these days—at least when it comes to eating and posting it on Instagram. But while our connection to good food has strengthened, many of us have gotten further away from our own kitchens. (Or maybe it’s just a New York thing.) A delightful new Brooklyn cooking school is working to change that.
Recently opened in a stylish, loft-y space in Prospect Heights, Cook Space aims to demystify home cooking using tips and tricks learned in Michelin-starred kitchens. Preferring to call itself a “culinary studio,” it aims to build confidence through creativity and collaboration, leaving lots of room for the inevitable mistakes while providing tools for how to fix them so that your guests will never notice. Who needs a recipe when you’ve developed intuition?
The teachers aren’t white-jacketed chefs, but approachable powerhouses like culinary director Nini Nguyen, who worked at Eleven Madison Park and the much-missed startup Dinner Lab. Her recent New Orleans Cuisine presentation was a lesson not only on her hometown’s best recipes—from corn maque choux to beignets—it was also a master class on how to make cooking fun. (Starting with a Sazerac and some jazz is a good start.)
Classes range from the five-week Culinary Confidence Series, which is more about helping you find your own style than turning you into the next Top Chef, to one-night opportunities to make (and eat) fresh pasta, zippy Vietnamese food, party-friendly dim sum, and slow-cooking stews and braises. The best part? Sitting down at the long farm table to eat your homework afterward.
Students might also pick up a serious case of city-kitchen envy. The high-ceilinged, photo shoot–ready space feels half pro, half home. Luckily, it’s also available to rent for private dinners and cocktail parties, as well as private lessons. (Great for a birthday or bridesmaid gift!) As for whether or not you pretend you cooked everything yourself, that’s up to you.
603 Bergen Street, Prospect Heights
Ready to get your hands dirty? We’ll save you a spot in class.