The 6 Best Cooking Classes in O.C.

The Pastry School. Photograph by Priscilla Ieezi.

Want to cook like a pro? Whether you’d like to learn the basics or refine your culinary prowess, these six Orange County spots will give you hands-on instruction so you can cook without fear and have fun.

1 The Pastry School
It’s not every day you learn to bake from a world-class pastry chef, but that’s what you get when you enroll in any of Stéphane Tréand’s five-day Master Series. Pick from a variety of courses that teach how to make modern tarts and cakes, classic French viennoiserie— such as croissants, brioche, and kouign amanns—or even showstopping tiered cakes, exquisite bonbons, and plated desserts. Master Series classes start at $1,200. 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 714-825-0180,

2 CulinaryLab School
This is where to go if you’re an aspiring chef, serious home cook, or industry pro. Sign up for a one-day course on pasta essentials or how to sous vide. Or take a one- to two-week series devoted to honing your knife skills. For more intensive programs, there are 12-week courses that cover fundamental cooking and baking techniques for students of all levels. $100 for one-day classes to $1,800 for the 12-week Pro-Home Cook series. 17231 17th St., Tustin, 714-788-3576,

3 Adventures in the Kitchen
For those looking for lessons with a fun, social atmosphere, Adventures in the Kitchen specializes in private cooking parties and events for kids and adults that take place in your home or office. Popular options include “Chopped”-style competitions where teams face off and create a dish to present to judges—something unique for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, or corporate events. $55 to $85 per person, depending on size of the party, menu, and location. 714-497-0724,

4 Le Gourmet Culinary
One of the longest-running teaching kitchens in O.C., Le Gourmet Culinary celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Go solo to a French macaron baking class or bring a friend or date to one of the signature “An Evening Out” classes. Students spend two hours preparing a four-course meal and another hour dining together in a relaxed, homey environment. Themes can range from making pizza to chicken done four ways. $79 for the macaron class to $199 for An Evening Out for two. 541 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, 714-888-5029,

5 Chefschool
Based at sleek The Hood Kitchen space in Costa Mesa, Chefschool offers classes from basic knife skills to vegan cuisine. It also hosts classes and cooking camps for children and teens, team-building events, and private parties. Recreational classes for the home cook include chicken fundamentals, where students learn how to roast a chicken, cut it, use the trimmings for stock, and make three meals. All cooking events are BYOB—students are encouraged to bring in beer or wine. Classes start at $85. 350 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, 714-474-6147,

6 Old Vine Café
It doesn’t get better than taking Italian cooking classes in Italy. For nearly a decade, Mark McDonald of Old Vine Café in Costa Mesa has partnered with the Italian Culinary Institute to host annual gastronomic tours of northern and southern Italy. From
Oct. 21 to 30, students visit organic farms and old-world winemakers and participate in hands-on cooking lessons, which include making pasta and cheese alongside master chefs from the institute. Lodging, cooking lessons, and meals cost $4,000 to $4,500 per person. The price does not include airfare. 714-655-6142,

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