Looking for a hands-on cooking class to help build up your repertoire in the kitchen?
Here are 10 great places in Vancouver offering cooking, baking, and even kombucha-making classes, all designed to sharpen your skills, whether you’re on your way to being a culinary pro, or are just an ambitious amateur.
The Dirty Apron is probably the most well-known cooking school for food enthusiasts in Vancouver–and they’ve got their own cookbook, too. The school is owned by former Chambar Sous-Chef David Robertson and his wife Sara. Robertson teaches many of the classes (and teaches classes for other schools, too) and also brings in talented instructors and famous names to add to their impressive and wide-ranging roster of course offerings. The hands-on classes cover anything from the basics to themed courses focused on meat or seafood, or regional cuisine.
Address: 540 Beatty Street, Vancouver
On the weekends, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) makes way for the home cooks with their hands-on Saturday technique classes and their fun Friday evening Cook! and the City classes. They’ll cover your basics, or take you on a journey to learn specialties like sushi making or bread baking.
Address: 101 – 1505 West 2nd Avenue
Offering monthly, intimate chef-led cooking classes in West Van, Ambrosia is a great destination to have a special culinary learning experience. Past visiting chefs include familiar names like Vikram Vij and Curtis Luk, and upcoming workshops include Karen Barnaby’s Ultimate Vegetarian Class in March and Trevor Bird (Fable, Fable Diner) in April.
Address: 503 15th Street, West Vancouver
Cook Culture not only stocks a range of kitchen supplies, but it also runs a variety of cooking workshops in North Vancouver (and in Victoria, too). Crafted for every interest and skill level, Cook Culture operates a hands-on instructional class, in addition to a demonstration class. Among the instructors on the roster are Ned Bell (YEW seafood + bar), Jonathan Chovancek (previously Executive Chef at Café Medina), and Chris Whittaker (Forage).
Address: 1230 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Vancouver’s Quince has a cooking class for just about any occasion or kitchen skill. Indian Bar Snacks, knife skills, pasta making, wine pairing, Valentine’s day cooking, or a series for the serious amateur are just a few of the numerous courses you can sign up for at this café, food shop, and cooking school one-stop-shop. Quince emphasizes fresh local food in their cooking and engage in green practices in order to be more sustainable.
Address: 1780 West 3rd Avenue, Vancouver
In addition to serving a range of casual eats, The Uncommon Café hosts a variety of cooking classes. Led by the talented Valentine Kitamura, owner of Tartine & Maple and baker at The Uncommon Café, these intimate classes have been crafted to enhance participant’s skills in the kitchen, while they learn new recipes, and discover the secrets of French cooking and baking.
Address: 477 Powell Street, Vancouver
While the Northwest Culinary Academy attracts those aspiring to have careers in the food industry, they also offer a set of “Serious Amateur” classes aimed at teaching the home cook. Their 8-Day Basics is a popular pick for those looking to hone their skills at their home stoves, though the NWCAV also has private classes and specialty theme courses, ranging from knife skills to baking to Latin foods and more.
Address: 2725 Main Street, Vancouver
If breads, cakes, and pastries are more your culinary cup of tea, head to the Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver. Of note is their series of Artisan Bread Baking courses. Once you’ve completed the basics class you can move on the a variety of specialty classes to learn the finer points of bread making.
Address: 818 Renfrew Street
Events at Vancouver’s premier cookbook shop are about inspiration, learning, and eating, though not in a traditional classroom setting. Hosting a spectrum of culinary voices, Books to Cooks‘ Sunday Social Suppers and chef-author visits afford food lovers the opportunity to sit down and savour the words and the food. Events sell out quickly, and while pricey, do tend to include the featured book and a meal.
Address: 1740 West 2nd Avenue, Vancouver
This East Van shop specializes in homesteading projects. In addition to providing customers with an assortment of tools to make things from scratch with, the locale also offers a list of unique and hands-on cooking workshops, including courses on how to make sauerkraut, ginger beer and wild herbal soda, kimchi, and kombucha.
Address: 649 East Hastings Street, Vancouver