Cool cooking classes to take or gift in and around Phoenix and Tucson

By Claire Mainprize

December 12, 2023

From a Hogwarts-inspired holiday feast to a four-day camp for kid chefs, these 10 cooking classes make for the most distinctive and delectable gifts of the season.

 

When it comes to holiday presents in 2023, material items are out and experiences are in. But don’t take our word for it: 92% of participants in a recent survey said they would prefer to receive experiences over physical gifts—up a whopping 77% from last year.

When you gift an experience to a loved one, you’re giving the gift of quality time, long-lasting memories, and newfound knowledge and skills.

There are various options to choose from, but if you have any foodies* in your life, consider purchasing them a cooking class. They can get their hands dirty and appease their taste buds, all while perfecting their craft and laughing at the inevitable mishaps. If you’re lucky, you might even get to try the leftovers.

Here are 10 of the coolest upcoming classes in the Phoenix and Tucson area.

*It’s fully acceptable if said foodie is really just you.

 

Snowman Fun

Where: Spilled Batter in Scottsdale

When: Dec. 16, 3-5 p.m. | Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost: $50 per person

Cool cooking classes to take or gift in and around Phoenix and Tucson

Facebook Photo/Spilled Batter

Spilled Batter is a cooking school in Scottsdale that’s specifically geared toward children aged 3 to 13. One of the coolest classes offered this holiday season is Showman Fun, in which kids ages 3-8 will make a snowman pizza and melting snowman sugar cookies. Each child must have an adult accompanying them (we have a feeling food dye could get a little out of hand otherwise).

If you can’t make this class but are interested in future offerings, keep up to date with the Spilled Batter class calendar.

 

How to Decorate Holiday Cookies with Royal Icing

Where: Antsy Nancy in Tucson

When: Dec. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Cost: $65 per person

Prepare to blow your family and friends away this holiday season by forgoing the traditional buttercream frosting and opting for royal icing, which hardens to a candy-like texture and allows you to create picture-perfect cookies—once you nail the technique, that is. Fortunately, Ansty Nancy’s holiday cookie decorating class will teach you all the tips and tricks in time for your holiday get-togethers.

 

Hogwarts-Inspired Holiday Feast

Where: Near Linda Vista Terrace in Tucson

When: Various dates in December and January, 6-9 p.m.

Cost: $105 per person

Cool Cooking Classes To Take or Gift in and Around Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Cozymeal Photography

Transport your fellow Potterhead friends to the Great Hall by cooking up a Hogwarts-Inspired Feast. Cozymeal’s very own Chef Linda will show you exactly how it’s done with this three-hour class offered on various evenings through the end of January.

Here’s what’s on the swoon-worthy menu, according to the website: “For this class, you’ll create Fleur’s cream of brie soup, a rich and cheesy starter, before sizzling up a hearty Hogwarts’ beef filet served with magical mushroom sauce. Prepare caramelized onion popovers to make Mrs. Weasley proud and roast up Dobby’s root vegetables on the side. Finally, whip up a sticky toffee pudding straight from the Leaky Cauldron for dessert.” The class is also BYOB for those who are of age.

 

Barbie-Inspired Pink Menu Cooking Class

Where: Near Linda Vista Terrace in Tucson

When: Various dates

Cost: $95/per person

Cool Cooking Classes To Take or Gift in and Around Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Cozymeal Photography

If you’re less of a Potterhead and more of a Barbie girl (in a Barbie world), Chef Linda still has you covered. With her Barbie-Inspired Pink Menu Cooking Class (rated a full five stars, by the way), she teaches students how to make a number of bubblegum-hued dishes such as smoked salmon mousse, raspberry-and-cream parfaits, and something called “magical color-changing Asian pink noodle salad.”

For this class, you have the option to host the chef in your own home. Can you think of a better girl’s night?

 

Kid Chefs Holiday Cooking Camp

Where: Cuisine Classique Cooking School in Tucson

When: Dec. 27-30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cost: $64 per person per day or $239/per person for all four days

If you know and love a culinary kiddo, they will treasure the gift of a cooking class or two, and the Kid Chefs Holiday Cooking Camp at Cuisine Classique Cooking School is the perfect option. Whether you purchase one day or all four, the student will receive their own chef’s hat, recipe book, and certificate—plus all the food and drinks they make.

With dishes like butterbeer milkshakes, chicken noodle soup, and churro cupcakes on the menu, they’re sure to have a blast and come home with full tummies.

 

Around the World Series

Where: Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale

When: Thursdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. from Jan. 11-Feb. 15

Cost: $600 for all six weeks

Every year, Classic Cooking Academy packs tons of exciting classes into its calendar, from single events to lengthy series. One of the series kicking off the new year is called Around the World—a six-week program that teaches students how to cook trendy dishes from across the globe while learning about the cultures from which they come. It’s open to all skill levels, and each session ends with a family-style meal and a complimentary glass of wine.

 

Handmade Pasta Class

Where: Classic Cooking Academy in Scottsdale

When: Jan. 24, 4-6:30 p.m.

Cost: $70 per person

The Handmade Pasta Class is another exciting new-year offering from the Classic Cooking Academy, and considering it takes place on a Sunday evening, it’s much less of a commitment than the option above. Offered several times per year, this is consistently one of the most-loved classes offered at the school (even Vicki Gunvalson from “Real Housewives of Orange County” loved it).

Following Chef Andrew Schmidt’s lead, participants will learn how to make their favorite kinds of pasta from scratch, in addition to several scrumptious sauces. The best part, however, is consuming the end result with your newfound friends. (Don’t forget to bring takeout containers to take the leftovers home.)

 

Date Night: Italian Steakhouse

Where: Sur La Table in Scottsdale

When: Dec. 28, 7-9:30 p.m. (other dates available in December)

Cost: $74 and up per person

Cool Cooking Classes To Take or Gift in and Around Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Sur La Table via Facebook

Whether it’s for your parents, couple friends, or you and your boo, an immersive date night is the ideal gift for romantic partners. And as luck would have it, the Sur La Table in Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons is hosting an Italian Steakhouse Date Night class just a few days after Christmas.

Couples will enjoy quality time together while learning how to whip up gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce and butternut squash, grilled steak with caramelized shallot sauce, and vanilla mascarpone panna cotta. Afterward, students can end their evening with a 10% off coupon for anything in the store. Now that’s date night done right.

 

Cooking For Two Hands-On Cooking Class

Where: The Garden Kitchen in Tucson

When: Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cost: $55 per person

Cool Cooking Classes To Take or Gift in and Around Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of The Garden Kitchen via Facebook

Classes at The Garden Kitchen are the gifts that keep on giving, as all the proceeds go toward empowering Pima County residents to “build community wellness and make healthier choices through food, fitness, and gardening education.”

One of the first classes of 2024 is the Cooking For Two Hands-On Cooking Class, which you can attend solo or in a pair. Participants will cook up a delightful lunch made with local, seasonal produce (which might even come from the garden outside) then dig in when it’s finished.

 

Lunch & Learn with Chef Marcellino

Where: Marcellino Ristorante in Scottsdale

When: Third Saturday every month, 1-3 p.m.

Cost: $85 per person

Cool Cooking Classes To Take or Gift in and Around Phoenix & Tucson

Photo courtesy of Marcellino Ristorante via Facebook

Learn & Lunch is more about learning the secrets hidden up an award-winning chef’s sleeve than hands-on cooking. The two-hour class invites guests to sit around the chef’s island at Marcellino Ristorante and watch the famed Chef Marcellino prepare handcrafted cuisine from his homeland. Afterward, everyone gets to dine on the main course along with organic salad and handmade biscotti.

Classes are held once a month. Call (480) 990-9500 to reserve your spot.

 

READ MORE: We asked, you answered: The Valley’s top restaurants for dining this winter

Author

  • Claire Mainprize

    Claire Mainprize is a writer and editor who covers the intersections of pop culture, lifestyle, and spirituality. Find more of her work at ClaireMainprize.com.

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