In order to sustain life, it is necessary to consume nutritious foods. This is no secret. However, taking the time to prepare and cook food can be an inundating task, especially for those who consider heating a Pop-Tart in a toaster oven to be chef’s work.
In the wake of a new year, there is no better time to try cooking like the next Bobby Flay or Rachael Ray and taking a cooking class is a good way to begin. To the delight of prospective epicureans, San Diego offers a variety of locations to choose from when searching for the perfect culinary lesson.
Vegetarians looking to add to their recipe lists or anyone looking to adopt an all-vegetarian diet may want to give Veg-Appeal a try. Launched by three vegetarians, Veg-Appeal’s goal is to promote health through class demonstrations that show how to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. The class not only promotes overall health, but emphasizes environmental sustainability as well.
“Most people who are taking our classes are trying to adopt a healthier diet and working on getting the meat out and the dairy and the processed foods out,” nutritional consultant and co-owner of Veg-Appeal Tracy Childs said.
Recipes used in class offer a bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
Lecture-style classes offered in the past have included “Lean Meals on a Lean Budget,” “Healthy in a Hurry” and “Vegetarian Eating: Healthy People, Healthy Planet.”
Class sizes and offerings are often dependent on the public’s interest. For the latest information, visit veg-appeal.com.
Located on Girard Avenue in La Jolla, Cups may be known for its organic cupcakes and strawberry milk “on tap,” but San Diego’s only 3-Star Green Restaurant Certification has a culinary secret it wants to share with the community: cooking classes with chef Jesus.
“The goal of any great teacher is to simplify and demystify the subject, and chef Jesus, who has been teaching cooking classes for more than a decade, does just that,” Cups founder Michelle Lerach said.
The classes, ranging between different levels of experience, are focused on the use of organic ingredients and accommodating vegan and gluten-intolerant customers. Past classes have included “Super Foods for Health and Flavor,” “New Year, New You: Post-Holiday Raw Food Cleansing” and chef Jesus’ bimonthly cooking series, “Farm-to-Table.”
The classrooms are relatively small, hosting two to four classes per week and accommodating as many as 12 people per class. However, the intimacy is intended to provide a better hands-on experience, enhancing students’ culinary skills.
At the end of Cups’ cooking sessions, students are able to take 30 minutes to sit down and enjoy the sights, scents and tastes of their culinary masterpieces alongside chef Jesus.
“I founded Cups with the idea of offering a superior product produced in sustainable way, and to help our customers learn to cook with local, seasonal ingredients,” Lerach said. “Whenever I hear someone in class say ‘I’ll make this at home,’ I think we’ve done our job.”
Visit cupslj.com for more information.
Great News! Cookware and Cooking School
Since it opened its doors on Garnet Avenue in 1977, Great News! has offered cooking supplies and tools for purchase, as well as classes for curious cooks to learn what to prepare using those tools.
Great News!’ chefs cook everything from comfort food to French cuisine in a mostly instructional manner. However, depending on the chef, some will incorporate a bit of hands-on learning as well.
Classes take place in state-of-the-art classrooms, equipped with seven big-screen TVs, microphones for the culinary instructors and a seating capacity of 52 people.
Next month, classes will range from a chili course to easy Italian cooking and, in preparation for Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 5, a Super Bowl Prep Party class will take place on the week prior to the game. Students will learn how to prepare Chicago dogs with neon relish and a satisfyingly sweet caramel apple crisp with ice cream.
No need to pack any bowls, mixers or kitchen knives from home to bring to class, Great News! has it covered. In addition, each student will receive a recipe packet to use for reference in future culinary endeavors. Visit great-news.com for more information.
Class prices for the three establishments mentioned range from $15 to no more than $80.