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Grub Gossip: New year, new you

Cooking classes!

Toscanos Chef Tom Pantley has a wealth of culinary knowledge he’s willing to share. Photo courtesy Toscanos

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A new year serves as a different marker for many. New Year's resolutions, an opportunity to hit that reset button on diet, exercise, bad habits, or maybe it's time to pick up a new skill or hone a craft you've otherwise neglected. Whatever the case, 2020 is a time stamp for a new beginning, for some this means culinary adventures will abound. And perhaps, among those adventures you're considering cultivating a new skill set in the kitchen, or maybe you are well versed in all things culinary but want to learn some new recipes. Lucky for you, there are plenty of opportunities in the South Sound to get some guidance.

Chef Pantley, of Puyallup's Toscanos Italian Grill, has been hosting what might be the longest standing cooking class in the South Sound. Festivities always begin with a no-host cocktail mix and mingle opportunity. This course is a demonstration-styled opportunity, with coursed meals being prepared for you. Attendees can ask questions, watch instruction and taste each dish paired with a wine sample, then go home with recipes to try on their own. The next class is Sunday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. The menu includes: Cherries Jubilee Mustardo with Goat Cheese Crostini, Penne and Prawns, Italian Fried Rice, Orange and Fennel Pulled Pork and Linzer Torte Pie. Tickets are $75, which includes tax and gratuity. Call 253.864.8600 to make your reservation today. 437 29th St. NE, Puyallup

Bayview School of Cooking has a plethora of monthly opportunities you can register for every month and there's a little something for everyone. Thursday, Jan. 2, at 9 a.m., get in on a free In the Kitchen: Local Fish, Local Roots class including Provencal Rockfish served with seasonal fennel, apple and celery slaw, and a take-home recipe for Lemon-Pepper Panko Crusted Rockfish and Blackened Red and Green Cabbage Slaw. Impress your guest with dishes prepared with that extra ingredient of love. They also host regular cooking courses for the little ones. On Jan. 4 at 11 a.m., kids ages 5 to 8 years old craft Rainy Day Comfort Food with Irene Schade. Chicken Noodle Soup, Fire Roasted Tomato Soup, and Toasty Grilled Cheese Sandwiches will be dishes they perfect, which is great for the parents. That same day at 1 p.m., kids ages 9 to 13 years old will have the same opportunity. If we start them young, they can host Thanksgiving festivities before you know it. Check out their calendar and register at or call 360.754.1448. 516 W Fourth Ave., Olympia

Get on Facebook, if you have one, and follow Molly's Tamales. She hosts some excellent courses including the obvious, a regular Tamale Making Class. Molly Alvarado has been studying Mexican and world cuisine for 25 years, giving her a solid foundation to guide attendees with ease. Tamale courses are $60; she recommends you bring a knife and an apron and get to work! Before the new year, she's also hosting a Kids Cooking Class, featuring Sweet Treats. On Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. and noon, bring the kids to gear up for the holiday to this festive wintertime gathering. Both courses are hosted by Stink Meat and Cheese. 628 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma

Though the calendar doesn't reflect any current courses, The Blue Octopus in Tacoma's Proctor District has hosted a plethora of cooking course opportunities in the past year including a Gnocchi Making class and a French Style Macaron Baking Class. I'd keep an eye on their social media to see if future opportunities arise. 3820 N 27th St., Tacoma

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