Cooking and Baking Classes in North America

A catch-all thread for in-person classes in North America.

What in-person classes have you taken, or want to take?

My experience with classes is very mixed, I must say. I wish that weren’t the case…maybe I need to pick some different places to learn.

I’ve taken courses at the following:

  1. Institute for Culinary Education (ICE)

I’ve taken mostly savory classes here, including multi-day intensives like their Fine Cooking series. Also knife skills, fish cookery and fish butchery, essentials of Thai cooking, a Southern-US themed course, and more.

It’s definitely energizing to work in what feels like a professional kitchen, but even taking advanced recreational courses at ICE I almost always am a little bit bored. I wind up having to do a fair amount of teaching of the other students, who frequently cannot hold a knife correctly or chop an onion (even in the “advanced” classes.)

  1. A pie intensive in the mountains of North Carolina with Tara Jensen at the wood-fired bakery she used to own there, Smoke Signals.

  2. A couple classes at the Vahlrona school in Brooklyn, including one with Erin Jeanne McDowell that was fun. This is another professional setting that I enjoy getting a peek into. Plus the whole place smells incredible.

I was thinking of looking at the Vermont outpost of King Arthur for some different classes…I didn’t realize they had an East Coast presence!

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There’s a Cordon Bleu cooking school here in Ottawa. I looked at course prices once, and decided that my money would be better spent on food.


I took one of Melissa Coppel’s chocolate classes 4 or 5 years ago. She also has guest instructors. Located in Las Vegas.


I’ve taken several intensive baking courses at King Arthur’s west coast baking school, including beginning and advanced sourdough, beginning and advanced artisan bread, and (just recently) pies and tarts. These were all multi-day courses for home bakers.

The bread baking courses at KAF bordered on technical. I think this was due in part to the curriculum, in part to KAF’s legacy, and in a very large part due to the instructor I had. She was amazing, and really wanted you to understand the science behind what you were doing.

I’m not sure I’ve had that same experience with other, non-bread classes at KAF. I’ve dabbled there in cinnamon rolls, and more recently pies and tarts, and these classes seem to be more general, and more focused on exposing the student to a variety of techniques without addressing the technical side as much.

Given I have the advantage of proximity, I’ll continue to participate in classes at KAF – I find it a wonderful resource for the home baker, and in any case, a fun activity.

I also once took a one-day pie workshop from Kate McDermott (author of Art of the Pie). It was wonderful, welcoming, and – at the time - my first introduction to baking pie.


I know I specified * in person * classes, but the sourdough guru Tara Jensen is running a three-class online sourdough intensive with Milk Street that may be of interest to some folks.