Cooking Fundamentals I
$920 per person
Our Fundamentals classes are designed to give home cooks a solid foundation of skills for everyday cooking and baking. They will build your confidence, equip you with techniques, and provide you with abundant inspiration in the kitchen.
What You'll Learn
By the end of the class, you will:
Master basic knife skills
Know how to properly balance flavors and seasonings
Learn essential techniques and apply them to a variety of dishes
About This Class
Anyone looking to gain confidence and intuition in the kitchen needs to learn some basic skills and techniques. Cooking Fundamentals Part I, the first half of our flagship 12-week course, is aimed at the novice cook. This class will meet once a week over six weeks, and during that time, we will show you how to Prep, Plan, Season, Spice, Sauté, and Stew. Each week we will cover methods and ratios that act as “base recipes” from which you’ll be able to prepare many variations.
The toolkit you develop over the course of this series will help you understand the basics of how and why things work in the kitchen, how to make food with balanced flavors and proper seasoning, and how to execute a basic set of fundamentals skills.
Once you complete the series, you can graduate to Fundamentals Two where your focus will dive much deeper into the next level of kitchen skills.
Class Meetup Dates:
Sun. Feb 2nd: 2/2, 2/9, 2/23, 3/1, 3/8, 3/15 (class does not meet on 2/16)
Tue. Mar 31st: 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5
Mon. Apr 6th: 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11
Sun. Apr 19th: 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17, 5/31 (class does not meet on 5/24)
Tue. May 19th: 5/19, 5/26, 6/2, 6/9, 6/16, 6/23
Please note: We do not allow makeups for missed classes. If you cannot join us for one or more of the class meetup dates for your series, you may send someone in your place and we will provide you with any missed class material.
Session One: PREP
Learn to take control of your chef’s knife: slicing, dicing and improving your prep skills, and understand which kitchen tools are really essential for the home cook. Menu includes: New twists on Deviled Eggs, Oven Roasted Salmon, Seasonal Sautéed Veggies, and a homemade Fresh Fruit Crumble.
Session Two: PLAN
Learn the art of timing in the kitchen while becoming more efficient through organized prep and planning, or “mise-en-place”. Seasoning food and balancing flavors is an art. We will practice it many times, starting with how to properly use salt. Menu includes: Farmers Market Crostini, Classic Roast Chicken, Creamy Veggie Mash, and your new go-to Cookie you can transform with different fillings.
Session Three: SPICE
Identifying herbs and spices, and knowing when to use them always makes your cooking game stronger. You’ll learn how some basic dishes, such as rice, roasted veggies, and even meatballs are taken to a whole new level once you know how to properly season. Menu includes: Asian-style appetizer Meatballs, classic Italian-style Meatballs in a killer Tomato Sauce, Oven Roasted Veggies, perfect Rice, and Crepes with homemade Caramel Sauce.
Session Four: STOCK UP
Now that you are familiar with proper seasoning with salt and spices, we will practice by preparing homemade stocks and creating delicious soups. With homemade stocks in your pantry, your meals are fast and flavorful. Menu includes: Our take on from-scratch Hummus varieties, Chicken Stocks, a variety of Seasonal Soups, Lyonnaise Salad topped with a perfect poached egg and bakery-worthy Chocolate Mousse.
Session Five: STEW
Braising and Stewing let you take tougher cuts of meat and cook them until they are melt-in-your-mouth tender. From a Lamb Tagine to a Coq au Vin, the methods are basically the same and you’ll master them in a way that lets you create your own amazing dishes. You will also start some simple baking lessons with light, fluffy biscuits, and your new go-to basic butter cake. Menu includes: Mile-high Biscuits, Braised Chicken Thighs, Slow Roasted Beef Stew, Melt-in-your-Mouth Pork Shoulder, and fruit-filled Butter Cake.
Session Six: SAUTÉ
Sautéing is an essential cooking method and properly sautéed proteins can be the base for a simple but bold pan sauce once you know a few key tricks. You’ll try several variations. Menu includes: Cheese Gougères, Seared Chicken, Fish, and Pork with Classic Pan Sauces, Vegetable Gratin and Tarts or Crostatas for dessert.
- Wine included
- Full meal served in class
- Six-session series
- 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.
After graduating from both the California Culinary Academy and Tante Marie’s Cooking School, David spent time teaching cooking classes and working as a line cook at Zuni Cafe and Gioia in San Francisco. He has worked as a personal chef and volunteered with the Bay Area’s largest fish supplier before joining SFCS as Lead Recreational Cooking Instructor. David believes cooking is about bringing people together to have a good (and delicious) time.