Taking time to learn a new skill with someone is a meaningful way to show you care—and is doubly true if it involves food. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your meat-smoking techniques, learn how to roll maki like a pro, or just to hone your knife skills, there are plenty of fun, interactive options to whet your cooking-class palate in the GTA. Here are some of our favourites to take with a friend or partner.
The Chef Upstairs
- 516 Mount Pleasant Road, Midtown & 555 N. Rivermede Rd., Vaughan
- $99 - $125 per person
Whether you opt for Spanish tapas, Italian harvest or intro to Thai cooking, The Chef Upstairs’ classes are a great way to spend some quality time together. They’re interactive, require teamwork, and take place in a single-stove, family-style kitchen. Bonus: steps and recipes are emailed to you afterwards, so you can recreate the meal together again.
- 587 College Street, Little Italy
- $95 - $135 per person
A trendy spot in the heart of Little Italy that offers a wide range of fun classes, from Delicious Dumplings, to Vibrantly Vegan, to Nonna’s Kitchen, to focused-skill courses to hone technique. They even offer Date Night options if you want to spend some personal time with your honey. Best part? There’s a cash bar, so you can pair a crisp brew or glass of wine while you cook.
- 1278 St Clair Ave West, Corso Italia
- $179 per person
If you own a smoker (or know someone who does) head over to Earlscourt BBQ for Smoking 101. Offered through Toronto Food Tours, the restaurant itself becomes your classroom, with food and drinks offered throughout (brisket, chicken, ribs and pork butt paired with three Ontario craft beers) so you’ll leave feeling full of knowledge as well as good food.
- 4894 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke & 118 The Esplanade, St. Lawrence Market
- $95 - $115 per person, $250 per couple
Create and feast at either the downtown or west-end location of this slick, interactive school. They offer master classes, kids camps, or special couples courses so you can indulge in some quality time together. All options involve hands-on learning, creation, and option to eat in their beautiful dining area.
- 888 Queen St. East, Leslieville
- $85 per person
These classes are about all things fish, from standards like The Art of Risotto and Whole Fish Cooking, to more creative menus like Seafood Paella or Fiesta Mexicana de Pescado. The best part: each class includes snacks and dinner.
- 1033 College St., Dufferin Grove
- $60 - $90 per person
These classes are so popular, they often sell out early—so plan in advance for a truly memorable night. Classes are offered on Monday, Sunday and some Thursdays, and range from beginner to master skill levels in a variety of unique categories, whether you want to master the Instant Pot, check out cooking with cannabis, or learn how to make chutney.
- 876 Bathurst Street, north Annex
- $125 per person
Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just getting started, high-quality, professional cooking classes are a token of appreciation that keeps on giving. Chefs, from beginner to advanced, can hone their knife skills, focus on cast iron cooking, or take a fun Middle Eastern Mezze class at Nella Cucina cucina culinary school.
Sushi Making for the Soul
- 37 Advance Rd., unit 105, Etobicoke
- $60 - $125 per person
Search the hashtag #JustRollWithIt to check out the beautifully rolled sushi made by students at this popular sushi school. Whether you’re looking for basic makimono rolls, uramaki (inside-out rolls) or want to try your hand at a more advanced nigiri and sashimi class, this place has you covered!
- 37 Advance Rd., Etobicoke
- $80 to $115 per person; $95 to $195 per couple
Their catchprase says it all: For the love of food and for the love of you! Aphrodite Cooks offers a range of classes for all skill levels and culinary tastes. They offer hands-on cooking classes tailored to couples, which means time well-spent with no pressure.
- 303 Roncesvalles Ave., Roncesvalles & 2588 Yonge St., Midtown
- $89 - $179 per person
Talented instructors provide a wide array of classes. You might want to try Handmade Pasta, Knife Skills, Breakfast Baking 101, or Parent-Child Cooking for that extra special dose of personal time spent together.
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