It’s safe to say, some of us are blessed with the cooking genes, and others (myself included) are not. Don’t get me wrong, I can cream cheese the hell out of a blueberry bagel. Avo on toast? My specialty! Microwave skills? Aplenty. Takeaway skills? Even better. But it seems no matter how hard we try, my kind… the failures in the kitchen, the recipe try-hards, the non-culinarians, are always missing the mark. Luckily for us, Sydney is here to save all of our tastebuds and class is most definitely in session.
If you’re a complete novice or just want to learn some new skills, here are the best cooking schools to go to in Sydney.
Casa Barilla Cooking School
If you walk into any Italian’s home, I can promise you a large portion of their pantry is dedicated to boxed pasta. We’re talking as if they’re stocking up for some kind of forthcoming apocalypse and, from experience, many of these boxed pastas will be Barilla. Which makes it no wonder that the Casa Barilla Cooking School is on this list. Unsurprisingly deemed Sydney’s top Italian cooking school, a crisp $50 at this international big shot will get you a spot in one of their ‘Demonstration and Master Class’ sessions, led and cooked by world-class chefs, where taste-testing is the buzzword. Up the stakes and an extra $40 and get you into a ‘Hands-On Class’, where cooking and tasting are all on your terms. There’s antipasto and prosecco on arrival, wine and added food with your pasta and even a sneaky little goodie bag to relive the memories at home. Take your pick at a range of specialised classes, ‘Winter Warmers’, ‘Family Favourites’ and all-round pasta packed ‘Pasta Party’.
Salts Meats Cheese
Refine your skills (and undying love for) pizza, pasta and ravioli at either a lunch or dinner session with prices starting at $69. Well versed in all skillsets, the renowned gang at Salts Meats Cheese will have you cooking from scratch or fine-tuning your already impeccable skills. But, If you really want to shake up your talents, take a hit at one of their famous mozzarella making classes—that’s right, make your own sphere of cheesy goodness and you’re on your way to making homemade pizzas, caprese salads and maybe even mozzarella pies?! The food gods have spoken.
With a mantra focussed on tradition and organic produce, Emilia has all the makings of your run of the mill Nonna—inviting, loving, never lets you leave the house without a jacket and above all, never leaves your plate empty for too long. With classes starting at $45 ranging from Kids cooking, Pasta 101, ‘Gnocchi and Sauces’ and even a crash course coined ‘Italian Gathering’, you’re set to be transformed into a walking talking cook in a matter of hours!
The Italian love affair continues at Cucina Italiana. Honing in on the national art of ‘lateness’ and more importantly ‘avoiding your actual job with longer and larger than life lunches’, their classes, aptly titled ‘Famous Long Lunches’ are a four hour long in depth look into cuisine and the regional nuances that make Italian food so diverse. With a range of classes on offer, anyone can learn to cook like a true Italian!
Sydney Seafood School
Salt in the air and seafood in the stomach… Sydney has one of the best harbour cultures in the world. So it only seems logical to learn all things fishy from the guys down at Sydney Fish Market. Home to the freshest and most decadent seafoods, enjoy a hands-on interactive class, demonstrated by professional head chefs, with a sea-full of knowhow and even offer a cheeky bit of wine tasting with your meal. Choose from a monthly batch of classes including Sushi and Sashimi, Singapore Chilli Crab, Paella, Seafood Basics and Seafood BBQ. Plus, with classes including a take home recipe book and official Sydney Seafood School apron, you’ll cook and (most importantly) look the part at your next self-devised seafood soiree.
Sydney Cooking School
For all those who can’t go on Instagram without experiencing some form of food-envy – Sydney Cooking School has your back. With a smorgasbord of cuisines from Sri Lankan, French, Asian and specialties including Paella and Tapas, Margaritas, Cake Decorating and Meat Lovers, there’s a class for every food fetish you can think of. Best of all, their classes are hotwired for your at home kitchen so you won’t be learning any mumbo jumbo you won’t find useful later on. And with a choice of a class of 20 or a tight-knit eight, you experience is sure to be one of a kind.
For when the Food Channel makes everything look way too easy, head on in for a whimsical and fun cooking lesson without the ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ clause. Cornersmith Workshop host classes that sit jussstt outside the usual—stuff you know and love but wouldn’t necessarily think to make from scratch. We’re talking fermented vegetables, pickled fish, bone broths, pickles, chutneys, jams, bottled fruits and even some sweet, sweet lady marmalade. You can also head on down to one of their free food talks or stop by their café boasting a comfortable, homely, family-run vibe amongst and ethically sourced menu and laid back aesthetics.
Its carb-loading meets cool – and with a quest to make the best damn artisan products in town, Brassiere Bread is your one stop spot for unique breducation (yes, it’s a thing). Honing in on traditional techniques and with most adult classes sitting at $150, the ‘Art of Sourdough’ and ‘Baking Gluten Free’ will teach you the ins and outs of the art as a whole; if you’re looking for something a bit more decadent the ‘Artisan Pastry’ classes should be on your radar. Plus, with the added option for Kids classes and Team-building cooking, you can literally have your whole entire life, hooked on bread! #thedream
Vive Cooking School
A new kid to the cooking school block, Vive Cooking School has opened in Rosebery teaching young and old how to cook. With classes ranging from pizza workshops for kids to training on specific techniques (ever wanted to know how to actually use a knife properly?), this Sydney cooking school should be on your radar. There are also opportunities for private classes which are perfect for hens, work events or just for friends who want to learn how to cook something new.
Can't be bothered to cook? Try looking up Sydney's best restaurants in our Directory.
Image credit:Ellie Baygulov