Class Information

Are your cooking classes hands-on, or demonstrations?

Virtual: Our interactive virtual cooking classes will help you build cooking confidence from our instructors in real-time. Every class will include a demo and allow for ample communication for your specific needs via chat. There will always be a moderator to make sure your questions are answered.

In-Person: 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 to carefully read the full event description before registering.

What is the format of a typical cooking class?

Virtual: The average duration of our virtual cooking classes is 1 1/2 hours. Attendees will be cooking simultaneously with the instructor using items from the ingredients list provided at the point of registration.

The instructor will share tips and techniques while answering questions from the audience via Chat. The class will conclude with a Q&A session for any remaining questions and attendees can enjoy the food they’ve cooked, or save it to eat later based on the instructor’s direction.

Note that spots purchased for a virtual class can be enjoyed by you or anyone else in your kitchen. However, the link you will receive to log into the class is unique so if you want your friends in other locations to join you, they too will need to purchase a spot.

In-Person: 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?

Virtual: Our virtual classes are limited to 25 guests/households which allows us to respond to your questions in a timely manner while keeping on schedule.

In-Person: 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?

Virtual: You typically cook 3 core recipes in a single class and, depending on the class, we’ll add on some sides, sauces, or condiments, too. Some classes prepare several variations of the main technique while others prepare a full meal. See individual course descriptions for more detail.

In-Person: 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?

Virtual: Attendees should log onto the webinar provided about 5 minutes before the start time. Virtual classes start promptly on time.

Please note: You must complete an additional registration link to enter the class on the scheduled date. The link will be sent to you via email one day before class.

In-Person: Doors open 15 minutes before the class start time.

What do I need to bring with me to class?

Virtual: You will be given a list of ingredients and necessary equipment at the point of registration. We’ve made a conscious effort to include common ingredients and equipment that are accessible to everyone while offering suggestions for substitutions where they may apply.

In-Person: You do not need to bring anything with you to class unless otherwise noted in the class description. 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?

Virtual: You will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end of class but feel free to snack while you follow along or pour yourself a glass of wine.

In-Person: 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 additionally 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?

Virtual: 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.

In-Person: Same as above. 

Can I bring my own beer or wine with me?

Virtual: We recommend it.

In-Person: No. Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to class is prohibited.

Can I bring a friend?
Virtual: Each virtual session is allowed one login and is intended for one guest/household. If you have a friend who is interested in joining you from another location they will need to sign up for their own spot in the class.
In-Person: Please make sure all attendees are paid for. We suggest purchasing your seats together to secure your space in the class. Please note that you are not allowed to bring anyone with you unless their seat is paid for or if the class description says otherwise.
During the class: 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?

Virtual: Same as below.

In-Person: Waitlists are available to students interested in attending a sold-out cooking class. You can add your name to 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 waitlist subscribers about the availability, along with an invitation to enroll. Our waitlists work on a first come first served basis, so the first student to register after receiving the email notification will be permitted to attend the class.

Do you have classes for beginners?

Virtual: These classes are generally designed for home cooks looking to build some fundamental skills and confidence in the kitchen. Be sure to read each class description for more details.

In-Person: 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 all of our classes on our website. Registration closes 12 hours before the class start time. Phone or in-person orders are not accepted.

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.

Can I register for a class on the same day?

The class registration period ends 12 hours prior to the class start time to ensure our instructors have enough time to prepare course materials and collect ingredients. If you’re trying to add on the day of the class, give us a call and we will see if we can accommodate you. Please note we can only assist with same day class registration on weekdays.

I bought a cooking class for someone else. How do I add their name to the class list?

If you purchased a cooking class for a guest other than yourself, you may add their name to the class list by logging into your sfcooking.com account and heading to My Account > Upcoming Classes > Alter Registration.

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?

Virtual: You will receive a list of ingredients prior to the class with options for substitutions. If you have specific questions regarding additional substitutions, drop us a line prior to class and we will do our best to help.

In-Person: 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. 

How do I contact you if I have a question or need assistance?

Our team is happy to assist you from 8:30 am  – 5 pm Monday-Friday. Please don’t hesitate to email or call us if you’re in need of support. Inquiries received outside of business hours will be responded to on the following business day.

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.

Which gift certificate formats do you offer?

E-Gift Certificates

E-gift certificates are emailed directly to your recipient. Choose this option by selecting “Send gift certificate(s) to someone else” on the checkout page. You’ll be able to enter your recipient’s email address and an optional gift message at this time.


Can I print a gift certificate for my recipient?

The most important piece of information on the gift certificate is the code. If you’re hoping to deliver a gift certificate in person, we suggest emailing the gift certificate code to yourself, printing the confirmation email (which contains the gift certificate code) or forwarding the email to your recipient. You may also wait until the day of and enter your recipient’s email in the send field and send away!

SFCS does not offer physical copies of gift certificates.

I keep entering my code in the apply gift certificate field but it's not working.

Gift certificate codes contain a unique randomized combination of numbers and letters. This can be difficult to mimic when entering manually. We suggest you copy and paste the code into the apply gift certificate field at the point of checkout.


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 or credits 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.

Please read below for a more thorough explanation of our policies: 

Requests for a refund: Any cancellation up to two weeks prior to your class start date will be refunded 100%.

Requests for credit: Cancellations after two weeks but up to 5 days before your class start date will qualify for an online credit to be applied to another class. Refunds are not offered at this point.

Requests to reschedule: If you would like to reschedule a class date, simply submit a request to cancel in your account and write us a short note. After we make the change we will contact you with more details. Requests to reschedule are not permitted for classes that fall within the No Refund/No Credit timeframe.

No Refund/No Credit: No refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations received less than 5 days before your class start date (the class date and any weekend days are included in the 5 days count). You can always send a friend in your place if you’re unable to attend.

Please note: Cancellation requests made the day of class are not eligible for a refund or credit, no exceptions. 

Why isn't my refund/cancellation being processed automatically?

We process our refunds and cancellations manually. Please allow up to 24 hours to receive a confirmation receipt for your request.

Please submit your request one time. Once you’ve submitted your request in your account settings, you do not need to submit a contact form inquiry in regards to your cancellation. If we do not respond in 24 hours (excluding weekends), feel free to contact us via our contact form.

Can I transfer to a different class?

If you’d like to transfer to a different cooking class, you must first cancel your current registration by going to My Account > Upcoming Classes > Alter Registration. If you’re making the change at least 5 days ahead of the original class start date, you may request a class credit, which can be applied towards the enrollment fee for a new cooking class.

What happens if I'm late to a class?

If you know in advance that you are going to be late to class, please call and let us know or drop us an email (during business hours) at support@sfcooking.com – this way we can let your instructor know to expect you to arrive late.

If you’re unexpectedly running late, please enter the classroom quietly and we will do our best to have the class assistant help you catch up. Your instructor is there to make sure everyone is on track and may not have time to go over what was missed in the first part of the class. If you arrive more than 30 minutes late you will not be allowed to attend the class as you will have missed much of the critical instruction and content.

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?

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. Our one exception is for Cooking Camp attendees, who must be between the ages of 13-17.

How do I contact you if I have a question or need assistance?

Our team is happy to assist you from 8:30 am  – 5 pm Monday-Friday. Please don’t hesitate to email or call us if you’re in need of support. Inquiries received outside of business hours will be responded to on the following business day.