A good way to eat well is to cook well. And with more culinary schools cropping up in Colorado Springs, a gift card to one of them would make a great holiday present.
There are classes for vegan, gluten-free, ethnic, pie, croissant and gourmet cooking, among others. There are even classes for the junior culinarian in your life.
1. Boz Catering Kitchen: 6628 Delmonico Road, 599-8109, bozcatering.com.
A few nights a week, Eric Stewart, executive chef and owner, turns his commercial catering kitchen into a hands-on teaching center. You can learn how to make your own pasta, smoke a brisket or make the perfect steak, with enough left over to take home. Occasionally Stewart has local and celebrity chefs teach classes.
2. Colorado Springs Chef’s Table: See chefstablecos.com for more information on registration and location
Debra McVicker is a certified culinarian and chef of wine arts. Her classes are for adults who want to learn basic cooking skills or advanced culinary techniques in a small group. You can expect a hands-on lesson and usually leftovers to take home. Anyone 18 and older can attend. Classes are limited to seven people so each can fully participate in this hands-on experience. Classes are held at McVicker’s home.
3. Colorado Springs Culinary Enthusiasts: 6005 Twin Rock Court, 569-5707, coloradospringsculinaryenthusiasts.com
Chuck Frazier and Jodi Woodruff co-own this school for children’s cooking, with a few adult classes too. The pair usually teach from April through September. This year it runs through December because of demand.
4. Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy: 415 N. Tejon St., jlgoesvegan.com
JL Fields is the author of four cookbooks, with a new release set for December, on vegan cooking and lifestyle. She also reviews restaurants for The Gazette. Fields teaches in person and online. Pressure cooking and air-frying are among her most popular classes.
5. The French Kitchen: 4771 N. Academy Blvd., 528-6295, tfkcc.com
Owner Blandine Brutel, who grew up in Lyon, France, brought her love of food and French cooking to her culinary center. In addition to her vast schedule of cooking classes, the school has a café, boutique and bakery. French cooking is at the core of her classes, but other cuisines are explored, and wine pairings and children’s classes also are offered. She has several instructors on her staff.
6. Gather Food Studio: 2015 W. Colorado Ave., 308-2992, gatherfoodstudio.com
David Cook and Courtney Smith bring many years of culinary and restaurant chef experience to their business. Their cooking schedule is jam-packed with multiple classes almost daily. They also offer other food-related services, such as kids cooking class parties, recipe development, “fix-a-recipe” if you’re trying to adjust a dish for high altitude, food styling, private dinner parties, knife sharpening and more.
7. Gold Star Pies: 302 E. Platte Ave., 447-5219, goldstarpies.com
Heather Briggs, owner, teaches her secrets of pie making from crust to filling at monthly classes. She demonstrates, and then students make a crust to take home and make their own pie. Each month brings a different seasonal offering.
8. La Petite Croissant — French Brunch at Home: firstname.lastname@example.org, lepetitcroissant.com
Leah Johnson, owner and author of French Brunch at Home, teaches how to make classic croissants, chocolate croissants, morning buns, macarons, farmhouse bread and butter and the perfect quiche. Classes are hands-on, and you’ll take home the rewards of your work.
9. Polka Dots and Curry: 6628 Delmonico Road, 304-6111, polkadotsandcurry.com
Monika Celly brings her Indian cuisine and culture to life in her varied cooking lessons. Spices are the important focal point of these dishes, and she teaches how to use them as well as their many health properties. Her recipe handouts are written step-by-step with photos. She sells spice packets for many of the recipes she teaches, so you can make the dish without having to shop for ingredients.