From gourmet restaurants to celebrity chefs, Greater Palm Springs knows how to appreciate food — and you can bring a taste of that appreciation into your own kitchen by learning recipes and culinary techniques from top chefs across the Coachella Valley. These hands-on classes and chef demonstrations will get you started.
Venue: Cooking With Class
On the Menu: A smorgasbord of culinary classes, demonstrations, and workshops
The Scoop: Opened in 2008 by chef Andie Hubka and her mother, Jane Angwin, Cooking With Class breaks down everything from basic knife skills to sushi-rolling techniques for students of all skill levels at their La Quinta cooking school. Monthly offerings include Knife Skills 101, a Trader Joe’s class featuring ingredients exclusively from the specialty grocer, and an afternoon Culinary Techniques Workshop with in-depth instruction on a theme like poultry, seafood, or salads and dressings. Classes focusing on ethnic cuisines, baking, and hors d’oeuvres are also held regularly. Meanwhile, social affairs like Couples in the Kitchen, Girls’ Night Out, and Men in the Kitchen offer a chance for students to laugh and learn with a secret ingredient: a glass of wine.
Save Your Seat: 47875 Caleo Bay Dr., Ste. A107, La Quinta. 760-777-1161; www.cookingwithclasslaquinta.com
Venue: Copley’s on Palm Canyon
On the Menu: Happy hour cooking demos with wine and hors d’oeuvres
The Scoop: Chef-owner Andrew Copley has turned the former Cary Grant estate into one of Uptown Palm Springs’ top dining destinations with his upscale American cuisine and its infusion of European influence. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the chef in action during his Happy Hour Cooking Class, held from early November through mid-May. Set in the property’s tranquil courtyard, you’ll watch Copley prepare elegant dishes at a mirrored chef’s station as the sun begins to set against the neighboring San Jacinto Mountains. Guests enjoy a glass of wine and light hors d’oeuvres as they learn techniques and tips during the 75-minute class, and those who stay for dinner also receive a 20 percent discount on their food bills.
Save Your Seat: 621 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. 760-327-9555; www.copleyspalmsprings.com
Venue: Kitchen Kitchen
On the Menu: Chef demos paired with hands-on opportunities
The Scoop: Specialty cooking products retailer Kitchen Kitchen has billed itself as a haven “for the chef in you” for 35 years, and its 2009 relocation to Indian Wells added a new kitchen — and no shortage of cooking classes — to the shop’s heavy-hitting arsenal of kitchen gadgets. Today, you can unleash your inner chef at one of Kitchen Kitchen’s ongoing classes. Headed by resident chef William “Woody” Kerr and a network of guest chefs, this month’s classes include Gluten-Free Cooking, the Five Mother Sauces, Chinese Made Easy, and Authentic Mexican, Appetizers, and More. Classes are structured as demonstrations, but guests can also hop behind the counter for a hands-on experience. Expect to see plenty of Kitchen Kitchen’s nifty cooking gadgets in action, too.
Save Your Seat: 74945 Hwy. 111, Indian Wells. 760-773-9464; www.kitchenkitchen.com
Venue: Le Vallauris
On the Menu: French-themed demos by an executive culinary duo
The Scoop: A favorite Palm Springs spot for fine French dining, Le Vallauris helps diners re-create its palate-pleasing cuisine at home with cooking demonstrations held under the ficus trees of the restaurant’s back patio. Offered on the second Monday of each month from October through May, the cooking demos are led by executive chef Jean Paul Lair and pastry chef Laurent Dellac. Each month features a new menu of an appetizer, main course, and dessert, with a mise en bouche occasionally making its way into the mix. During the demonstration, guests can ask the chefs their burning culinary questions and take notes on the provided recipes. Of course, a true chef needs to taste the dish before it’s served, so before heading home to replicate the recipes of the day, guests dine on the demonstration menu at the end of class. Bon appétit!
Save Your Seat: 385 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. 760-325-5059; www.levallauris.com