FAQ

Class Information

Are your cooking classes hands-on, or demonstrations?

All of our cooking classes are hands-on, full-participation experiences.

On occasion, we host book signings and other food events that are pure demonstrations. For this reason, we encourage you carefully read the full event description before registering.

What is the format of a typical cooking class?

The average duration of our cooking classes is 4 hours, and they are broken down into three segments: Introductory lecture or demo, hands-on cooking, and eating.

The class will begin with a short discussion or demo from your instructor. After, you can expect to work either on a team or individually to prepare the class menu. As a group, your class will prepare the selected menu in its entirety. In most classes, not every student will make every dish.

Learning happens throughout the class, and your instructor will often call out key techniques as they happen in each recipe.

Most classes conclude by sitting down as a group to eat what you’ve prepared, followed by a discussion of each recipe. You will leave with a copy of the recipe packet and a working knowledge of every dish that was made so you can recreate them at home.

What is the typical class size?

Most of our hands-on classes are limited to 14-16 students with a single instructor. This ensures your class is an intimate and educational experience, as well as fun and social.

In most classes, instructors will be supported by a teaching assistant in order to make themselves available for one-on-one time with students. TA’s are not to be thought of as co-teachers, but rather as your guides to navigating around the kitchen.

How many recipes are prepared in each class?

Our hands-on classes are designed to keep you very busy. The number of recipes prepared in class ranges from 3 to 8, depending on complexity.

When should I arrive for my class?

Doors open 15 minutes before the class start time.

What do I need to bring with me to class?

You do not need to bring anything with you to class unless otherwise noted on the class page. The kitchens at SFCS are fully equipped and aprons, recipes, equipment, food, and wine are all provided for you.

Do I need to eat before class?

In most classes, you will be sitting down to eat a complete meal that you have prepared along with your classmates. Since this typically occurs towards the end of the class period, an appetizer or small plate is usually prepared early on in class. However, you’re welcome to have a snack before you arrive or bring one with you.

Please note, for our Baking & Pastry classes, a light meal will be provided for you.

What should I wear to class?

We suggest wearing casual clothing you can easily move around in, and highly recommend wearing comfortable, closed-toe shoes. Long hair should be pulled back.

Can I bring my own beer or wine with me?

No. Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to class is prohibited.

I am coming to class with a friend. Will I be able to cook with them?

Yes, however, keep in mind that teams and individual work will fluctuate and depend on the format of each class. You might work on one recipe with your friend and then do something with another group, or on your own.

How do waitlists work?

Waitlists are available to students interested in attending a sold-out cooking class. You can register for a waitlist by clicking the “Join Waitlist” button on the page of a sold-out cooking class. You can view and manage your waitlist subscriptions in your sfcooking.com account.

If we receive a cancellation in a sold-out cooking class, an email notification will be sent to all of the class’s waitlist subscribers about the availability along with an invitation to enroll. Our waitlist works on a first come first served basis – the first student to register after receiving the notification will be permitted to attend the class.

Do you have classes for beginners?

We do! We offer cooking classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced home cooks.

If your cooking experience is limited to pushing the button of a microwave and you’ve never cut an onion, we suggest starting out with our Knife Skills class.

How do I register for a class?

Register for our classes on our website. Registration closes 12 hours before the class start time.

You may register up to 4 guests in a cooking class at a time. For groups of 5 or more, please contact us about scheduling a private cooking class.

Do you accept walk-ins?

We do not accept walk-ins. All registrations must be made online prior to the class date.

Do you offer payment plans for your recreational cooking classes?

We do not offer payment plans. Full payment of the class enrollment fee is required upon registration.

Do I need to be enrolled in a Professional Certificate program to take cooking classes at SFCS?

Nope! Our recreational cooking classes are open to everyone. No prior culinary experience is necessary. The only exception is our Cooking Fundamentals Part II series, in which completion of Cooking Fundamentals Part I is a required prerequisite.

Do you accommodate substitutions for dietary restrictions or allergies?

We’re unable to accommodate all substitution requests for in-class work. However, we occasionally make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. If you have a dietary restriction and are interested in a particular cooking class, please contact us and we will let you know whether an accommodation is possible.

Even if we are unable to accommodate your specific dietary needs, our instructors will almost always have great ideas for substitute ingredients in the recipes we teach.

How often do you update your class schedule?

We release new class schedules on a quarterly basis. Our mailing list members get priority notification before classes are publicly announced. We highly recommend joining our email list or connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to be notified of new classes, waitlist availability and last minute scheduling of visiting chefs.

What if I want to teach a class at SFCS? What if I have feedback or a new class suggestion?

Drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

Location Information

Where is San Francisco Cooking School located?

San Francisco Cooking School is located at 690 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The building is gray with orange awnings and is on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue and Turk Street.

Are you close to public transportation?

SFCS is a 10-minute walk from the Civic Center BART stop and close to several MUNI lines. The MUNI lines with stops walking distance to the school are 47 Van Ness, 49 Van Ness, 31 Balboa, 5 Fulton, 19 Polk, 21 Hayes and F Market.

Facility Information

Do you offer parking?

We do not have a parking lot. There is ample metered street parking in the area as well as two parking garages across the street, one at Opera Plaza and one at 711 Van Ness Ave.

The entrance to the Opera Plaza garage is located on Golden Gate between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street. It is open 24 hours. The 711 Van Ness garage is located on Turk Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street and hours vary.

Do you offer indoor bike parking?

We do not offer indoor bike parking.

Do you have a restaurant? Do you serve meals to the public?

At this time, we do not have a restaurant and we do not serve meals to the public.

Do you offer private cooking classes and events?

We do! We have programs available for anywhere between 12 and 32 attendees. For more information, please contact us. 

Gift Certificates & Class Credits

What is the expiration date for class credits and gift certificates?

Class credits and gift certificates do not expire.

Are your gift certificates refundable or redeemable for cash?

Our gift certificates are not refundable or redeemable for cash. Returns made on gift certificate purchases will be issued in the form of an online gift code only. San Francisco Cooking School is not responsible for lost or stolen gift codes.

Policies

What are your refund and cancellation policies?

Our cancellation policy enables us to bring you cooking experiences that are small, intimate, and hands-on.

Any cancellation up to two weeks prior to your class start date will be refunded 100%. Cancellations up to 5 days before your class start date will qualify for an online credit to be applied to another class. No refunds, credits or class transfers will be issued for cancellations received less than 5 days before your class start date, however, you may always send a friend in your place if you’re unable to attend.

If a friend will be attending a class in your place, add their name to the course roster by logging into your account and following directions to alter the registered attendee.

What happens if I can’t make it to one of the sessions in a series course?

If you can’t make it to a class in a three, five or six-session series, you are welcome to send a friend in your place. Please notify us if a friend will be taking your spot.

Unfortunately, due to the small size of our classes, we do not offer make-up classes for missed sessions in a series.

How old do I need to be to attend a cooking class?

All students enrolling in our hands-on cooking classes must be 18 or older. All students enrolling in our wine and beverage classes must be 21 or older.