Question: Can you cook?
Whatever your answer is, there is a cooking class for you, and it’s somewhere in LA. Yes, you. They are available for all skill levels, whether your culinary creativity is culminated in adding berries to your cheerios, or if you’re interested in opening up your own restaurant.
My first cooking class experience was at EATZ LA, located in West Hollywood. My second, third, and fourth classes were also at EATZ, because I had such a great time. Also because they send out discount codes on the reg – sign up for their newsletter to get in the loop and avoid paying full price. They have awesome deals like $75 classes (regular price is $105-$145) or buy two classes, get two free.
So I have to be honest here. The first reason why I love this class so much is because they provide unlimited alcohol, and you are welcome to, even encouraged to, lubricate yourself to your liking. Depending on the theme of the day they’ll offer you beer, wine, sangria, or whiskey, and sometimes as part of the class you’ll make a fun fruity cocktail together.
The second best part of this class is that it is 100% hands-on and you get to pretty much be involved with every step of the cooking process. They do prep a few things for you, for the sake of saving time, as the class is a fast paced 3 hours. But for the most part you’re doing it all. They set you up in stations with a partner, so keep in mind that if you go alone or with an odd numbered group, you will have to pair up with a stranger. Don’t worry though, everyone is there to have fun, so you’ll likely end up becoming friends with your sous chef. If not, spike their drink.
The food is decent, and you’ll come away having learned at least a couple of things. The instructor will show you the proper way to hold a knife, maybe a few cutting techniques, or if you’re lucky maybe you’ll get to flambe something. Yes, you get to catch things on fire!
All in all I give this place a 4.5/5. Every class has been a lot of fun, but the one drawback is that it’s a bit on the pricey side, when compared to the quality of ingredients. However, the unlimited alcohol (and the staff washing your dishes for you!) can pretty much make up for it.
Hipcooks is great if you are looking to do two things: socialize, and eat amazing, unique dishes. I am not kidding when I say the food here is delicious. I went to their Jamaican themed class, and it was seriously mind-blowing.
The room is divided into two groups and you cook with your team. For this part you may want to get a little aggressive in volunteering to take on tasks, otherwise you will be stuck watching others have all the fun. Because it is a team effort, Hipcooks is very strict about hand washing (thankfully).
I’m not sure if every class is like this, but we never once got to even hold a knife. Everything was prepped ahead of time, so we kind of just threw things together whenever the instructor passed them out. I felt like I was being micromanaged. I volunteered to stir the cauldron of coconut crab stew, and found myself being constantly reminded to give it a stir; the instructor continually leaning over and eyeing the pot, condescendingly asking how it’s doing. It was awkward. I passed on my overwhelming responsibility of churning to the couple next to me.
When our decadent first course was done, everyone grabbed a plate and sat down at a massive table, like a dinner party. We had a few minutes to eat and chat and get to know each other before repeating the process for the next course.
The class was fun, but I did not leave feeling like I learned anything new. This class is best suited for those with very minimal experience in the kitchen, because basically all you get to do is shake, stir, or heat things up, all under strict supervision.
It’s about half the price of EATZ, likely due to the lack of unlimited drinks. Not to worry though, they do provide you with one drink per class – maybe two if you can snag some leftovers.
3/5 for having really tasty food, but for failing to actually show us any cooking tricks. It was more like a fun night out than it was a learning experience.
Up next on my list: a few more evenings at EATZ to use up my class credits, then moving on to the Gourmandise School of Cooking, and possibly the Cordon Blue School (yes, from the commercials!).