Courtesy of Santa Fe School of Cooking
San Francisco, California
You may still leave your heart in San Francisco, but after a visit with Tante Marie you’ll also take home a host of new culinary skills. Chef instructors dish up bread baking, grilling, ice-cream making and preparing the perfect Thanksgiving meal. Take a one-day or weekend workshop or a week-long course. Or plan a whole vacation in this unforgettable city and attend a series of evening classes.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
On your visit to Santa Fe, delve into New Mexico’s history and culture with a class or two in Southwest cuisine. Learn all about salsas, tamales, Southwestern tapas or the cuisine of Native Americans. Then enjoy a walking tour of the city’s top restaurants led by a local chef. Diehard foodies can sign up for a three-day cooking boot camp.
Planning a trip to the Napa Valley? Check out this B&B with two rooms, an organic vegetable and herb garden, and a small orchard of apples, limes and figs. With classes limited to just eight people, you’ll get personal attention here. Classes range in length from five hours to five days. Downtown Calistoga is great for your off hours.
Take time off from skiing — or other seasonal activities — for a few hours of cooking. The chefs here offer a wealth of classes, covering everything from baking tarts, pies and artisan breads to whipping up Sicilian, French bistro, gluten-free and Fourth of July feasts. Learn about wine pairing and how to mix cocktails.
Hyde Park, New York; St. Helena, California; San Antonio, Texas
Get away from it all to do something you really love at one of the Culinary Institute of America’s two- to five-day boot camps. Comfort foods, hors d’oeuvres, healthy cooking, Italian foods: There’s something here for everyone, including a series of classes for you to take with your teen. Choose from among three destinations: New York’s Hudson Valley, California’s Napa Valley and San Antonio, Texas.
Classes at this school, located just outside Washington, D.C. cover a broad variety of international cuisines as well as culinary specialties such as chocolate making. There’s a weeklong summer baking camp for the kids and weekend classes for parents and kids to share. On the first and second Fridays of each month, bring all your knives for sharpening by professionals.
Overland Park, Kansas
How about spending a three-day weekend at a Hands-On Healthy Cooking Makeover? Or a Saturday evening at Hands-On Cooking for Couples: Simple French Home Cooking? This school offers more than 450 classes on every topic imaginable. Do you dream of becoming a grill master? Award-winning barbecue chefs, at the affiliated Midwest Barbecue Institute, teach everything from tools and fuels to techniques and recipes.
New York, New York and Campbell, California
If you’re passionate about honing your culinary skills, choose this school, considered one of the world’s best. In New York or California, you can attend one-day or weeklong classes; there’s a special series for teens, too. Whether you’re tempted by tapas, Japanese cuisine, charcuterie and pates, or chocolate and confections, you’ll be sure to find something pleasing.