Get Cooking! Classes for foodies, couples, kids, and armchair travelers
Having kitchen skills is not a prerequisite for being a foodie. You can dive into a bowl of pasta or negotiate your way through haute cuisine whether you can cook, or not.
Being able to cook, though, it’s a thing, especially for foodies. If you know your way around the kitchen, it increases your appreciation of every meal you eat out. It helps raise your expectations, increases your understanding of spices and dishes, and increases your menu literacy. Cultivating great home cook skills also adds a level of joy to entertaining: what is better than tossing crust for a homemade pizza or presenting a warm clafouti for dessert… and having the confidence that you will wow your guests?
Whether you are starting with the basics, or honing your gourmet credentials, there are excellent cooking classes in the Wilmington area, and Port City Foodie has put together this list. We found classes with our top local chefs, cooking classes for couples – think date night! – cooking classes for kids, and cooking classes that will satisfy the wanderlust of armchair travelers.
1. Cape Fear Food & Wine Club
The Cape Fear Food & Wine Club events are held at The Seasoned Gourmet, 1930 Eastwood Road, Suite 105, in Wilmington. You can purchase the required membership and pay for classes through The Seasoned Gourmet. Cape Fear Food & Wine Club operates out of a beautiful demonstration kitchen, which is perfected designed for lessons and group dining. The calendar of cooking classes includes wine pairing classes, seasonal and themed demonstrations, “Date Night” classes, and events for children. Some recent and upcoming cooking classes include: Vegan Bread and Stuffing, Omelettes, and Holiday Appetizers. Events feature some of Wilmington’s food luminaries, like Chef Keith Rhodes, Chef Craig Love, Chef Helen Welsh, and Chef Courtney Matheson. Call The Seasoned Gourmet, 910-256-9488, for details about membership and their calendar of upcoming events.
2. Taste the Olive
Taste The Olive offers cooking classes as part of their mission to be more than a store by offering an experience. Chef D and guest professionals like Chef Meri, give guided, hands-on, classes in a variety of themed cooking classes. Their classes mesh with the gourmet oils, vinegars, and international wines that make up their specialty merchandise. A recent class was a lesson in making three traditional Italian pizzas: Margarita, Napoli, and coccli. Other classes include themes like “Cheese it Up,” and “In the Mediterranean.” Cooking classes, which must have a minimum of 10 people, include tasting the menu items, as well as beer and wine for purchase by the glass.
3. Delish: Fresh Eats with Courtney
Courtney Matheson offers personal chef services, in home cooking classes for you or you and a group of your friends, and baby food workshops. Courtney is a regular cooking instructor at Cape Fear Food & Wine Club, and has conducted gourmet walking tours featuring Cape Fear’s farmers’ markets, specialty food stores, and popular restaurants. Courtney Matheson’s classes include Indian cooking, and Gluten free food preparation.
4. Demarco’s Family Kitchen
Owner, chef, and personal trainer, Kevin Demarco has years of knowledge and experience in both fitness and food. He has 20+ years of culinary experience and offers classes in knife skills, holiday cookies, tapas cooking, and spice classes. His personal philosophy combines food and fitness in a 60-40 program for those aspiring to a healthy lifestyle. Demarco’s is in the process of re-branding, so the Demarco Studio website and Facebook will evolve to a cooking class dedicated site called “Demarco’s Family Kitchen.” Don’t get lost!
5. Whole Foods
Whole Foods grocery store offers cooking classes with themes like “making a gourmet cheese platter,” and “holiday sides dishes.” They also have classes to ramp up your entertaining chops, like flower arranging. You can check for class dates and times online, which aren’t always current, so it’s advisable to call the store at 910.777.2499 to confirm, or you can stop in the store for the up-to-date calendar.
6. Williams Sonoma
Willaims Sonoma is online via the corporate Facebook page
Williams Sonoma at Mayfaire Town Center offers product spotlights, technique classes, and cooking classes. You can also talk with them about doing an in-store event for you and a group of friends. If you want tips on how to use your new Instant Pot, or how to care for your fancy French cookware, this is your spot. Red Eye Bakery’s owner Elaine Brown recently conducted a Williams Sonoma class on making authentic Southern biscuits. Register for classes and demos in-store, or show up and sign in, and check their Facebook page for events that vary week-to-week.
More cooking classes Wilmington NC! Taste Carolina is another option for cooking classes (Courtney Matheson guides these, as well), with their walking tour and cooking class Saturdays during season. They also do private weekday and weeknight tours and classes. You can get more information at the Taste Carolina website.