From Italian-centered meals to the basics of dessert, here’s where children, teens and adults of all ages can become a chef in NoVA.
Going out to eat is great, as there’s no cleanup, it’s quick and, here in Northern Virginia, there are hundreds of delicious options to choose from. Yet sometimes, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a home-cooked meal.
Whether you’re interested in learning the basics or want to move into the expert category, these local sites make it easy to become a self-identified chef.
Founder and lead chef of Cooking Thyme Stacie Husmann fell in love with cooking while living in Paris with her kids and husband, who has been in the Navy for over 20 years. While there, Husmann hosted a variety of international guests on a weekly basis, requiring her to to create meals regularly for a wide range of appetites. Since then, she has settled down in Northern Virginia, offering cooking classes through workshops in Fairfax. In the coming months, Husmann will go over everything from a fresh pasta tutorial to a Moroccan-themed feast and a technique-focused brunch party. // 10136 Red Spruce Road, Fairfax; prices vary
From two separate kitchens of Northern Virginia, Cookology Cooking School has a goal of inspiring local residents to connect with one another through the art of cooking. Professional chefs teach a variety of classes, ranging in cooking style and age group, and also offer private events such as corporate gatherings and bachelorette parties. Come February, the Ballston Quarter location will offer a basic baking boot camp, a Scandinavian-themed date night and a family class in honor of Valentine’s Day, among many others. // Dulles Town Center: 21100 Dulles Town Circle, Sterling; Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; prices vary
For your next dinner party, don’t take on the responsibility of cooking all by yourself. Instead, let the professional chefs of Cucinamore come to your home and guide the entire group in an Italian-themed cooking lesson. Each event includes the preparation and cooking demonstration of three courses, which you get to curate from a selected list of over 20 options. The best part? The staff will do all of the shopping, preparation and cleanup for you, enabling you to enjoy your homemade meal with friends and family. To reserve Cucinamore’s services in the coming days, click here. // 608 Newington Place NE, Leesburg; prices vary, $50 deposit necessary
Since 2008, professional chefs and instructors of Culinaria Cooking School have been sharing their interest in culinary arts with residents of the DMV. Owners Stephen P. Sands and Pete Snaith started cooking together over 20 years ago, and have since refined their teaching model to surround the fundamentals of cooking, with proper preparation of food and the importance of presentation at the core. Classes can be anything from a couples-only class featuring winter dishes to a parent and tween chili night dinner. In February, there will be a Culinaria After School session that teaches kids essential knife skills (for $65), as well as a Mardi Gras-inspired dinner (for $90) that includes red beans and rice, oysters, beef tenderloins and more. Find everything else coming to the kitchen this year, here. // 110 Pleasant St. NW, Vienna; prices vary
In addition to being a professional chef, Leesburg resident Olwen Woodier is the author of six cookbooks, with her latest The Pesto Cookbook ranked a favorite for unique pesto recipes. Today, she offers cooking classes from the comfort of her farm kitchen, all of which have a focus on the importance of seasonal produce. According to the Glenfiddich Farm Cookery School website, the hands-on classes are ideal for parties of eight to 14 people, including a book club, vegetarian-only group or office outing, where guests can choose from themed menus like simple bites, comfort food or Woodier’s favorites. While she doesn’t have a specific schedule of classes, Woodier requires inquiries to be made a month in advance. // 17642 Canby Road, Leesburg; $65-$75
Bread is an essential part of anyone’s diet, yet the majority of people tend to find their ideal loaf on the shelf of the nearest grocery store. In Loudoun County, chef Melinda Friend is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of baking bread to the local community with Knead & Know. Her classes for adults—focusing on specific styles of bread like bagels, croissants or a country loaf—are all created specifically for the working professional. For Friend, teaching students to adapt bread baking into their daily lives is a key goal. Plus, she’ll show you how to make it taste good too. While classes are currently sold out through March, Friend updates the calendar on a regular basis. // 37603 John Mosby Highway, Middleburg; $125-$170
From her location in Ashburn, Stacked Custom Cakes & Classes owner and baker Erin Schwartz—who was featured on the Food Network, Cooking Channel and more—creates custom cakes for a variety of events. If you want to join in on the baking, Schwartz offers chef-hosted classes a few times a year from her workshop. On March 30, experts Sachiko Windbiel and Michelle Boyd will lead a sugar art workshop, giving participants the chance to make a figure of fondant and cocoa butter. For those who want to try out Schwartz’ tips and recipes from the comfort of their own home, there are tutorials available for free and for purchase here. // 44200 Waxpool Road, Suite 112, Ashburn; prices vary
While national brand Sur La Table gained its reputation from selling kitchenware and other products for the home, the nearly 50-year-old company is now recognized as one of the largest hands-on cooking programs in the country. The brand’s signature slogan, “Make good food. Invite people. Do it daily,” has inspired a variety of detailed recipes from chefs who share their talent in local stores. Here in Northern Virginia, there are three storefronts that offer unique classes, as well as private events. This February, NoVA residents can create the perfect Spanish paella, bake sweets as an entire family, make their very own soup dumplings and so much more. // locations and prices vary
Anna Reeves started Tiny Chefs with one goal in mind: to show kids they can take part in the fun of creating healthy, delicious meals. The experienced professionals of Tiny Chefs can provide interactive and educational cooking classes at local schools, camps or community centers in the DMV area. Or, if you’d rather host your very own birthday party celebration, the staff can come to you to make it happen. This spring and summer, a few classes offered include Cooking Around the World on April 6, a friendly version of Cupcake Wars from June 15 through June 19 and Chopped! for little ones from June 22 through June 26. See every class coming to the NoVA region, here.
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