North Carolina is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, but here you also have the opportunity for a more hands-on dining experience.
Discover expert-led cooking classes that cover a variety of techniques and 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, these culinary classes will get you better acquainted with our culinary bounty.
1 Build Skills in the Kitchen
1 Build Skills in the KitchenWhisk in CarySee on map
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.
Plan it: Classes are held weeknights and weekends and range from $69 to $89.
2 For the International Palate
2 For the International PalateDurham Spirits Company in DurhamSee on map
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.
Plan it: Most classes are held on the weekends and start at $59.
3 To Impress Your Guest(s)
3 To Impress Your Guest(s)Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in CharlotteSee on map
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 Super Bowl watch party or Valentine’s Day date.
Plan it: Classes are held weeknights and range from $55 to $75.
4 If You’re Considering Veganism
4 If You’re Considering VeganismLenore’s Natural Cuisine in WeavervilleSee on map
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.
Plan it: Workshops and classes are held Saturdays and cost $20 and $45, respectively.
5 Learn to Season to Perfection
5 Learn to Season to PerfectionSpice Bouquet in KinstonSee on map
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.
Plan it: Classes cost $15, are held weekdays and weekends and must be reserved 2 weeks in advance.
6 For a Healthier Diet
6 For a Healthier DietDeMarco Studio in Wilmington
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.
Plan it: Classes start at $65 per person.