These days, it seems like people are more interested in food and cooking than ever. While many people are content letting the experts do the work by dining at restaurants, there’s also an increased interest in cooking quality food at home. Sure, you can look up recipes online or in cookbooks, watch youtube videos or learn from family members, but why not learn from the best by attending a fun and informative cooking class? Treat yourself by developing your skills, making plans for a unique date night, or grab the girls for a hangover-free bachelorette party. Philadelphia has plenty of options to choose from with classes offered for people of all culinary skill levels and interests. Here are just a few of the best.
The Restaurant School At Walnut Hill College
4207 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 222-4200

As the first private college in America to offer occupational education in hospitality and fine dining, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College has been turning out some of the country’s best chefs and restaurateurs since 1974. But you don’t have to be a professional chef-in-training to take advantage of the institution’s culinary expertise. The Community Education program offers interactive pastry and culinary classes as well as “challenge dinners” during the months of September through June. The program welcomes food enthusiasts of all skill levels — anyone looking to learn something new or hone their skills in the kitchen. Learn knife techniques, wine and food pairing, French pastry making, how to prepare the perfect steak, and more. There’s something for everyone with two and a half hour classes starting at $55 per person, five-hour workshops starting at $165, and six-week courses starting at $345. Classes are taught by professionally trained chefs and meet in the Allison Building on campus. Students are asked to bring their own tools. A list is provided before the class. Private group classes (12-14 people) and challenge dinners (20-30 people) are available on select nights of the week.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (Photo: Michelle Hein)

Philadelphia Museum Of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 763-8100

Presented by Starr Restaurant Catering Group and Granite Hill’s Chef Gerald Drummond, the interactive chef demonstrations held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art offer a unique experience for food and art lovers. The intimate classes are held in the cafeteria of the museum, typically on the third Wednesday of the month from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The 90-minute classes cost $45 per person ($40 for museum members) and are hosted by Chef Drummond along with guest chefs from other Starr restaurants to offer plenty of attention and help with techniques. Guests will enjoy samples of the food prepared during the class and receive recipes for all of the dishes, as well as a special gift for attending. Upcoming classes focus on holiday meals and sweets. Museum admission is included with the class.

Related: Ask A Chef: Top Spooky Halloween Treats

La Cucina At The Market
The Dorrance Hamilton for Culinary Enterprise
310 S. 48th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215) 922-1170

Anna M. Florio is the proprietor and chef of La Cucina at the Market. The Philadelphia native spent her childhood summers in her grandmother’s kitchen it Italy, learning the rich traditions of Italian cooking and a passion for food. In 2007, after several years of teaching Italian, and later the first Italian cooking/language class at Temple University, she started La Cucina at the Market in the Reading Terminal Market. Now dedicated entirely to cooking demonstration, she was able to share her love for food with Philadelphians of all skill levels wishing to cultivate their culinary knowledge. In 2014, Florio moved La Cucina at the Market to a new location at The Dorrance Hamilton Center for Culinary Expertise. Class schedules, topics and prices vary, but a typical class is approximately two hours long with prices generally falling between $75 and $100. Gnocchi and pasta making are repeat favorite classes that are usually offered monthly, but there are a number of seasonal classes also on the schedule. La Cucina at the Market is extremely popular for date nights and bachelorette parties, with party packages and private events available.

Kensington Quarters
1310 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 314-5086

Kensington Quarters is a unique Fishtown spot that’s a combination of classroom, restaurant and butcher shop in one. You can enjoy drinks and grub (made from locally-sourced pesticide, steroid, antibiotic and hormone-free ingredients) downstairs or attend butchering lessons and lectures in the loft. These weekly and monthly classes focus on topics such as whole animal butchery and cookery, pasta demonstrations and more. For now, classes are taught by Chef Damon Menapace and Head Butcher Heather Thomason, but Kensington Quarters is hoping to have guest chefs host special classes in the future. Classes range in price from $75 -145 per person, depending on the length of the class, and guests usually get to bring home products from the butchering classes. Some past topics have included whole chicken butchery, pasta making and sausage making. Classes are limited to small groups.

Nunzio Ristorante Rustico (Photo: Michelle Hein)

Nunzio Ristorante Rustico
706 Haddon Ave.
Collingswood, NJ 08108
(856) 858-9840

Nunzio’s is located in Collingswood, just a quick drive over the bridge from Center City. There, you’ll find authentic Italian cuisine featuring handmade pasta, prime meats and the freshest seafood and produce available. At Nunzio’s, everything is made fresh. In fact, cooking classes with Chef Nunzio Patruno often begin with a walking tour of the nearby Collingswood Farmers’ Market where ingredients are purchased for the recipes of the day. Following a visit to the market, the entertaining and knowledgeable Chef Nunzio shares his recipes and hands-on instruction with guests, and then you feast on your creations over lunch. Classes are $50 per person and begin at 10 a.m. each Saturday. Space is limited, so be sure to check the schedule and sign up for classes in advance. Classes focus on seasonal ingredients and often highlight traditional recipes from specific regions in Italy.

Related: Ask A Philadelphia Expert: Fall Comfort Food Recipes

Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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