Cook Up A Storm In Oregon
Throw on your chef’s hat and sharpen your culinary skills at one of Oregon’s many cooking classes, from hands-on artisan bread making at the coast to vegetarian-based fare in Portland. Oh, and did we mention you get to feast on your creations?
EVOO, Cannon Beach
In the quaint, artsy town of Cannon Beach at the northern Oregon coast, you’ll find a gem of a cooking school called EVOO. Set in a former little beach cottage, chefs Bob Neroni and Lenore Emery offer instruction in a variety of areas. Here, class-goers get their pick of hands-on (yes, you’ll get your fingers dirty) or demonstration classes, where you can watch the masters strut their skills from your front-row seat. Classes range from artisan bread making to seasonal bistro dinners. Or, learn the basics at one of its culinary fundamentals classes. Whatever you choose, it’ll be an intimate setting, as class sizes are limited.
While you’re at it, take time to explore Cannon Beach. There are a number of art galleries, gourmet restaurants and boutique shops to visit—and don’t forget the miles-long stretch of sandy beach just a block away. Make sure to snap a sunset shot of Haystack Rock, the world’s largest monolith, in its full splendor. Bonus points if you find a whole sand dollar.
McKenzie Orchards Cooking School, Willamette Valley
Book a stay—and a cooking class—at McKenzie Orchards in the Willamette Valley countryside near Eugene. Set on the McKenzie River, this modern bed and breakfast property not only offers divine dining—the proprietors open up their kitchen for the culinary-minded. Class topics include Oregon Bounty fare, Asian dishes—even a newlyweds cooking course. Classes mostly take place on Saturday evenings, and are open to just eight students so make sure to reserve ahead. Or, opt for a private lesson.
Greater Portland Cooking Classes
The Greater Portland area offers quite a few locations where you can hone your gourmet cooking skills. Stay for a weekend, or a week, and really get to know your inner-gourmand.
Hipcooks in northeast Portland is not your average cooking school. With themes like “The Surprise Guest” and “OMG – Cooking for a Crowd” you’ll be among folks who are not likely to take themselves too seriously. Class sizes are small to ensure more one-on-one instruction, and feature fresh, organic ingredients. If you’re looking for a zany, fun time coupled with incredible food and friendly instruction—this is the spot to hit up.
With two locations (Pearl District in downtown Portland and Lake Oswego), In Good Taste offers a bounty of cooking classes to choose from. The topics are endless: back to basics for the culinary challenged; chocolate-focused; gluten-free comfort foods; the art of braising and the list goes on. If you can name it, they probably teach it. Be sure to arrive early to peruse the aisles of gourmet kitchenware before getting your hands dirty.
Sur La Table, in downtown Portland’s Pearl District, is another great spot to learn a new culinary technique or two. Class topics include chocolate treats, winter baking, steakhouse classics—some even focus on fare from such famous chefs as Anthony Bourdain. And the options don’t end there. You can even create your own syllabus and invite your friends for a private cooking party.
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