If there is one skill you should actively cultivate in life it is cooking. Being able to feed yourself is not the point. Any person can buy a six-pack and a frozen dinner and call it good. Yet, as we know, all sustenance is not created equal. Though cooking for one can seem pointless, learning to make a well-crafted meal can be both personally satisfying and important for developing confidence in your own kitchen.
Learning about new foods and cuisine from people in the industry is a good place to start.
Rather than being intensely instructional like one might expect from a professional cooking school, The Bayview School of Cooking in Olympia offers classes geared more toward the aspiring amateur chef. Typically two-and-a-half hours in duration, classes presented by local and regional chefs have themes and focus on certain types of food, ethnic dishes and introduce new ways of using seasonal produce. On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Seattle-based cookbook author and chef Cynthia Nims will demonstrate how to make bite-size meals perfect for serving at get-togethers or as small meals. Check the school out at a free "In the Kitchen" class, offered the first Thursday of each month.
[The Bayview School of Cooking, 516 W. Fourth Ave., Olympia, 360.754.1448]
One of Tacoma's finer restaurants, Primo Grill, hosts cooking classes in its kitchen once a month. Opened by chef Charlie McManus and wife Jacqueline Plattner in 1999, the Sixth Avenue dining destination has stood the test of the economy and earned a reputation for sourcing produce and meats from area growers and farmers. Previous classes have included instruction from guest chefs, holiday focused dishes and specific pairings.
[Primo Grill, 601 S. Pine, Tacoma, 253.383.7000]
The Good Shepherd Center in Seattle offers a monthly program of classes. Known as "Garden to Table" the classes deal with cultivated produce and how to use and prepare it. Spring kicks off the beginning of April with a forging focused class on urban weeds and wild foods.
[The Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Avenue North, Seattle, 206.547.8127]