With Blue Apron, Caviar, and Tender Greens in the picture, who needs cooking, anyway? No one, if it’s out of sheer necessity. But as a unique skill and an opportunity to have elevated fun, however, cooking is definitely re-branding itself in San Francisco, with a fresh selection of cooking classes and schools. The current way to learn how to cook is photogenic, easygoing and social (think team-building at work or a bachelorette party), and no one will make you fluff an omelette. Instead, imagine impressing your friends with handmade pasta or inviting your parents over for spring rolls or steamy paella. The following establishments will help make this happen.

 

Civic Kitchen

The newly minted school and cooking space in the Mission is owned by a husband and wife duo. It welcomes the budding chef with an impressive bookcase full of color-coded cookbooks, and from there, the way to learning your way with eggs, custards and dough is paved. Classes here range from beginner, like the Learn to Cook series, to specialized and niche, like a workshop on seafood with an Italian twist, or a primer on kitchen knives. Classes start at $25 and are lead by smiley, friendly chefs and cooks. And if you really want to hang out after and look through all the cookbooks, no one will say no.

2961 Mission Street, San Francisco

 

Kitchen on Fire

On the other side of the Bay, Berkeley’s newest cooking school is all about communal fun. Aside from lending the space to office bonding and corporate salad-chopping, the school offers one-time cooking classes, ranging from $75 to $125, on anything from ramen to sausages. The 12-meeting Basic Series is more comprehensive, taking the novice cook through knives, techniques, and pantry tricks. On the educational side of things, there are nutrition classes on cleansing and healthy eating habits as well. There’s also an Oakland location.

1509 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

6506 San Pablo Ave, Oakland

 

18 Reasons

A veteran on the local scene, 18 Reasons offers a variety of lively, engaging classes, often accompanied by a social or a charitable angle. Offerings frequently combine a class with a meal, during which discussions happen spontaneously. The selection is dazzling; the month of June alone includes a class on Thai street food, a workshop on root vegetables, a “hippy food” meal and much more. Classes start at $50.

3674 18th St, San Francisco

 

San Francisco Cooking School

The folks at San Francisco Cooking School, which was established in 2012, keep up on trends and know which classes will get the audience enrolling. Consider, for example, the Killer Fried Chicken class ($165), or the class that challenges participants to cook a recipe from the elaborate State Bird Provisions book ($165). Some classes are tied to local star restaurants and chefs, while others cater to those aiming to learn the basics.

690 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

 

The Cheese School

Literally, everyone loves nibbling on cheese. Making it yourself, it turns out, can also be a pleasure—especially when the class is held at one of the city’s most charming hidden nooks. But don’t be fooled, the Outer Mission Cheese School is a popular event spot, and cheese-making classes tend to sell out fast so, do plan ahead. Learn how to make cheddar, ricotta or feta ($120), or play with cheese and wine at a pairing class ($60-85), or, if budget allows, dive into the three-day, comprehensive cheese intensive ($1200).

2124 Folsom St

 

Bonus: Cozymeal

Not technically a “school,” Cozymeal offers cooking classes around the city, led by a variety of chefs in a selection of commercial kitchens. Some of them are with chefs from new and buzzing restaurants, like a pasta workshop with the chef behind Merchant Roots, while others are taught by private chefs passionate about a particular region or topic. Classes start at $95.

Multiple Locations