FAQ

Class Information

Are your cooking classes hands-on, or demonstrations?

We are excited to return to in-person cooking classes. These are hands-on, participation experiences. Due to current COVID-19 regulations, students will work independently, masked and safely distanced from each other throughout each session.

 

What is the format of a typical cooking class?

The average duration of our current cooking classes is 2 hours, which is predominately hands-on work. You will be standing for the majority of class, cooking at your work station as your instructor demonstrates techniques and walks around providing individual feedback.

What is the typical class size?

Our classes are currently limited to 14 students and a single instructor. This ensures your class is an intimate and educational experience.

In most classes, instructors will be supported by a teaching assistant in order to make themselves available for one-on-one time with the students. TAs are not to be thought of as co-teachers but rather as your guides to navigating the kitchens and any quick questions you have along the way.

How are classes different during COVID-19?

We follow strict regulations from the city and state and require our students to do the same. A few important things related to this are noted below, and full protocols for class will be provided upon enrollment:

  • Students will wear masks the entire time they are in the school
  • Regular hand washing is required, and hand sanitizer will also be available
  • Students will be at work stations set up at least 6-feet apart from each other
  • We will not be eating or drinking together in class
  • Staff and students must answer a health questionnaire before entering the building and anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive will not be allowed in the school.
How many recipes are prepared in each class?

Our classes are more focused on technique than specific recipes. While a class may cover anywhere from 2-5 techniques, you will leave with the ability to turn the base techniques into many different recipes.

When should I arrive for my class?

Due to COVID-19 regulations, we can not have students congregate in the building before class starts. Doors will open 5 minutes prior to class starting and we will begin promptly on time. Students will be asked to queue up outside the door of the school, safely distanced (sidewalks are clearly marked) and will be let in the school just before class begins.

What do I need to bring with me to class?

Please arrive at the school with your own mask on. You will be given a new, disposable mask to wear in class to ensure what you have on hasn’t been contaminated prior to entering SFCS. We will have extras available should you need one while at school.

Wear comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes (remember, you’ll be on your feet cooking). The kitchens at SFCS are fully equipped with everything else you need, including clean aprons.

Do I need to eat before class?

Due to COVID-19 regulations, we will not be serving food or drinks during class, We will, however, be sending you home with both ingredients and finished food items so you can enjoy them later, and practice as well.

What should I wear to class?

Wear casual clothing you can easily move around in, and comfortable close-toed shoes. Long hair must be pulled back and masks, provided by SFCS, are required while in the building.

Can I bring my own beer or wine with me?

Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to class is prohibited.

Can I bring a friend?

Each student needs to have their own paid spot in a class. You may not bring anyone with you unless they have a purchased spot. We do not offer any kind of waiting room in the building for guests.

How do waitlists work?

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?

We do! While we often offer cooking classes for beginner, intermediate and advanced home cook, our schedule right now is limited to our Kitchen Intuition series. This is the perfect set of classes for beginner cooks.

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.

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 via support@sfcooking.com 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! For more information, please visit our Events page.

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

Please don’t hesitate to email 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 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.

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 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.