7 Cooking Classes in North Carolina to Inspire Your Palate

Bryan Bazemore Photography7 Cooking Classes in North Carolina to Inspire Your Palate

Chef Alyssa Wilen has won numerous awards and competitions, and she hosts cooking classes in Charlotte

North Carolina is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, ranging from Southern-inspired breakfast diners to lunch hotspots to trendy restaurants where dinner reservations fill up fast. And you have the opportunity for a more hands-on dining experience.

Discover expert-led cooking classes that cover a variety of chef techniques and international flavors – often paired with wine or craft beer – making for a fun afternoon with friends or a creative date night. From small towns such as Weaverville to large cities like Charlotte, get better acquainted with our culinary bounty through one of these cooking classes.

Build Skills in the Kitchen: Whisk
Specifically designed for the home cook, classes at Whisk are led by local chefs determined to sharpen your skills in the kitchen. Global Destination classes journey through the cuisine of a foreign country or region, with past classes including a Japanese hibachi and sushi technique workshop and an improvisational food and wine journey through France and Belgium. There’s also classic themes like homemade pasta making and artisanal bread baking workshops so you can bring your new skills back home. Classes are held weeknights and weekends and range from $69 to $89.

Enjoy the One-Stop Shop: Southern Season
Chapel Hill
The Cooking School at Southern Season welcomes both regional and internationally respected chefs to share their secrets and cooking techniques, and features a staff of well-trained professionals to lead seasonal-themed classes. If you’d rather not be behind the stove top, try an aperitifs mixology class or the Mediterranean cocktail party class. Plus, Southern Season carries a huge selection of gourmet foods, wines and cookware, so there’s great shopping to be had after your class. Classes range from $45 to $60 and are held evenings during the week and afternoons on weekends.

Southern Season store in Chapel Hill

Southern Season

A New York Times food critic once described Southern Season as "a visual and gustatory delight"

For the International Palate: Durham Spirits Company
Reflecting the variety of ethnic cuisine available in Durham’s restaurant scene, the majority of cooking classes at Durham Spirits Company feature international menus like Dim Sum, Ethiopian and a Global Noodles class of noodle dishes from China, Thailand, Korea, Italy and Spain. There’s also a strong focus on seasonality, whether it’s a Holiday Dinner Party, Summer Brunch or Fall Vegetarian class. Most classes are held on the weekends and start at $59.

To Impress Your Guest(s): Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen
In Charlotte’s historic South End neighborhood, Chef Alyssa Wilen teaches healthy and sustainable cooking classes at five different ability levels. Intermediate students can partake in global classes such as Spanish Tapas and An Evening in Greece, while beginners can expand their kitchen skill set in practical classes like Healthy Weeknight Meals and Basic Meals Bootcamp. Classes are also tied to popular happenings, teaching you how to prepare meals for your game-watch party or date-night dinner. Classes are held weeknights and range from $55 to $75.

Chef Alyssa Wilen teaching cooking class in Charlotte

Charlotte Lately

Chef Alyssa Wilen's cooking classes regularly sell out in Charlotte

If You’re Considering Veganism: Lenore’s Natural Cuisine
Vegans, vegetarians and those who have ever been interested in a vegan lifestyle will appreciate a cooking class with Lenore Baum. After following a vegetarian diet for 12 years but still suffering from chronic health problems, she learned about vegetarian and macrobiotic cooking and began a journey to wellness through food. Her classes teach students how to prepare vegan dishes, fermented foods and how to make conscious protein choices to achieve greater balance. Workshops and classes are held on Saturdays and cost $20 and $45, respectively.

Learn to Season to Perfection: Spice Bouquet
For those who’d rather watch than do, the demonstration-style cooking classes at The Spice Bouquet are the perfect way to learn, taste, then try to recreate in the comfort of your own home. Menus are set for the class and include a salad, pita bread appetizer with Spice Bouquet seasonings, a chicken and salmon sampler with various seasonings, an entree, dessert and a beverage. Participants leave with the class menu, recipes and a certificate of participation. Classes cost $15, are held weekdays and weekends and must be reserved two weeks in advance.

For a Healthier Diet: DeMarco Studio
Chef and personal trainer Kevin DeMarco follows a straightforward philosophy when it comes to diet and exercise – the 60/40 rule that an optimal healthy lifestyle is achieved by 60 percent healthy eating and 40 percent exercise. To help clients maintain their healthy physique outside of the gym, Chef DeMarco leads cooking classes for up to 12 students in his home studio one Saturday a month. Classes are a combination of demos and hands-on cooking, covering topics like spices, wine pairings and holiday hors d’oeuvres. Classes start at $65 per person.

Shayla Martin is a Durham-based travel and food writer, who has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Fodors Travel and more.


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