Best of Bay: Californios
$190 per person
Our Best of Bay classes bring notable, local food talents into our teaching kitchens to share their expertise in a hands-on cooking class.
What You'll Learn
By the end of the class, you will:
- Learn how to build a basic Mexican pantry
- Begin to refine your ability to season dishes like a pro
- Know how to make the staples of Mexican cuisine that can be adapted for any occasion
About This Class
Born as a pop-up, the Michelin-starred Californios is a petit spot offering fine dining based on classic Mexican cooking. Chef Val Cantu has an incredibly deft hand when it comes to seasoning and this class will focus not only how to make the key components of his stellar dishes: Sauces.
The class will focus on the foundational sauces and salsas that can be used and applied to any occasion. Like the mother sauces of French cuisine, we’ll focus on fine-tuning salsas, understanding moles, and how to prepare aguachiles. With these skills down pat, you’ll learn how to apply the techniques to improve your own cooking and broaden your culinary horizons.
Hamachi Aguachile, Tomato and Chicken Broth, Fresh Tomatillo and Roasted Tomato Salsas, Handmade Duckfat Masa Tortillas, and Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Wine included
- Full meal served in class
- Work in teams
- Ages 18+
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.
Doors open 15 minutes before the class start time.
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.
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.
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.
Raised in Texas, Val Cantu grew up hunting with his brother and father, who owned a Mexican restaurant that was a second home to Cantu. He got his first professional gig at Uchi in Austin and went on to stage at Benu and Saison in San Francisco, moving to the city permanently to work at Sons & Daughters. There, Cantu began thinking about fine dining as it pertained to Mexican food. With the seeds for Californios planted in his imagination, Cantu took off for Mexico City to stage at Enrique Olvera’s Pujol. Californios opened in January 2015. At 16 courses, it’s (likely) the only Mexican tasting menu in the country. Cantu earned a Michelin star and Californios was named one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America.