Image source: Flickr - Bernal Saborio
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is through food. While New York is full of great restaurants and markets, a more interactive option is a cooking class. From chocolate to Latin to the art butchering and beyond, there's much to explore through the palate. To help you plan your trip, here is a guide to NYC's most delicious cooking and culinary classes.
For those with a sweet tooth, Tache Artisan Chocolate offers a delicious chocolate-making class. During the 90-minute course - which takes place multiple times daily - you'll make decadent treats like chocolate bars, caramel kisses, and mustache lollipops, although you're also welcome to invent your own creation. Once finished, package your work with beautiful handmade boxes and bags to take home along with sheets containing recipes and tips. Bonus: While you work, local cocoas, coffees, teas, and ciders are offered.
No trip to NYC would be complete without a trip to Murray's Cheese Shop, a Big Apple institution, especially for those who like cheese. While visiting their stinky store - which also sells specialty and prepared foods and kitchen gifts - is an experience in itself, the culinary classes enhance the experience. Some to choose from include Cheese 101, Mozzarella Making and American Craft Beer and Cheese. Bonus: If you enjoy wine, Murray's has teamed up with City Winery to offer courses on cheese and wine pairing.
Class prices typically range from $70 to $85 per person, per class. Click here to view their class calendar.
For a unique food-themed class, The Meat Hook features culinary classes for those interested in learning the fine art of butchering. A good cut of meat doesn't come from simply throwing down a knife any which way. It takes precision and skill, which is exactly what you'll learn during classes like Knife Skills, Sausage Making and Meats: Cooking With Confidence. The Meat Hook is a partner of Brooklyn Kitchen - they have the same owners - so some classes beyond pure carnivorous options include Spicy Sichuan Cooking, Doughnuts, Thai Street Food, and Taste of Spain. Often, they'll have local guests teachers come share tasty knowledge, like Roberta's Pizza for a pizza-making class and McClure's Pickles for a pickling course.
Click here to check out the full calendar.
For most foodies visiting NYC, a slice of the city's best pizza is a must. Luckily, you'll have the chance to go beyond simply eating it and also learn to make it. Pizza A Casa Pizza School teaches you how to bake up made-from scratch pizza - even making your own dough - before digging in yourself. What makes this class extra special is they don't simply hand you ingredients and put you to work, they educate you to the point where you will understand the different pizza cooking techniques and how to recreate the dish at home (which is great, as you also get takeaway recipes and dough). If you're not a fan of plain cheese don't worry, as instructors encourage students to get creative with their toppings. Bonus: Pizza A Casa also offers a number of couples classes focused on pizza, pasta, and white truffles. Yum!
The pizza-making class is $165 for four hours, including the chance to make up to four different pizzas.
At the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, you'll be able to travel the world through culinary classes. In fact, they host over 1,500 classes each year! While they offer courses for professionals, their 12 to 16 person Recreational Cooking Classes are for those who just want to spend a few hours or days at their center. Soups, wellness, artisan bites, ethnic eats, techniques, family dining, holiday cooking - even a NY Jets Tailgating Series - are all on the menu. Some recommended classes include Artisan Doughnut Sandwiches, Spanish Surf and Turf, Essentials Of Tuscan Cooking, A World of Curries, and Umami: Building Flavor Profiles.
Both morning and evening classes are offered, ranging from one to five days. Typically, the format is the creation of dishes in small teams, with each group being assigned 2-3 items and the class ending in a family-style dinner paired with wine or beer. The average price ranges from $75 to $130.
Which of these sounds best to you?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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