$3,850 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
3) How to troubleshoot common kitchen problems with positive results
Looking for a serious education to improve your home cooking beyond the Fundamentals but not quite ready to ‘go pro’? Culinary Foundations is our new three-month course designed to help you cook at home with better organization, stronger technical skills, and a more thorough understanding of how ingredients work.
Meeting two evenings a week for 12 weeks (with no class the week of July 4th), each session of this class will focus on specific techniques and ingredients. Drawing on some of the cooking methods covered in our Fundamentals One and Two series’, you will build much deeper skills and more knowledge about how to prep and cook.
Using a completely hands-on approach, you will typically work in teams of two to prepare a variety of dishes. You will also learn many variations on each dish so that every recipe and technique can be modified in a multitude of ways once you’re cooking at home. During the final week of class, you will put your skills into practice, designing and preparing a menu for a stellar dinner party.
Classes are taught by a variety of our seasoned instructors as well as some industry experts we will bring in along the way.
At the end of the series you will be more kitchen-confident and ready to tackle meals from the simple to the complex. And, if you finish the series ready to ‘go pro’ the price of the class will be applied to your tuition for our pro culinary or pastry program, should you be accepted into one of those courses
This is an intermediate course. We highly suggest taking this class after completing Fundamentals One and Fundamentals Two, although that is not required. Students in this series will receive an 8” Wusthof Chef’s Knife, a small kitchen notebook, and a SFCS apron. If you must miss a class in the series you can send someone in your place but no make-ups or discounts are offered.
About This Class
Weekly Breakdown: Students who have taken Fundamentals One and/or Two will have the opportunity to explore these topics at a much more intermediate and advanced level. Each week covers a variety of dishes, plating, some multi-day projects, and there is a strong focus on tasting food and seasoning in every class. Through both demonstrations and hands-on practice, students will learn a variety of skills and techniques. You will end each evening with a meal and wine.
Week One: Building a Homemade Pantry – As a way to review both knife skills and mise-en-place, we will spend the first week of class building a pantry by making some larder staples by hand. Think homemade ketchup, hot sauce, compound butters, confit garlic, oven-dried tomatoes, arrabbiata sauce, chili rub, and more
Week Two: Stock – Take your stock making skills to the next level with dark veal stock, pressure cooker chicken stock, demi-glace, dashi, and Parmesan stock. In addition to some new soups, we will also tackle homemade risotto.
Week Three: Brunch – Cooking eggs is the true test of a cook, we’ll cover tons of ways to use them along with quick breads, coffee cakes, hash, granola, and more.
Week Four: Vegetables & Vegetarian Cooking – What’s in season right now and what else can I do with it? Braising, frying, pickling – we will cover some less traditional ways to work with vegetables, and put together a middle-eastern inspired vegetarian menu without missing the meat.
Week Five: Pizza & Pasta – Pizzeria-style pizza at home, with a simple yeasted dough, should be part of your repertoire. You’ll learn a make-ahead (no cook!) sauce, how to shape like a pro, plus lots of tricks for those toppings so pizza night can be any night. And, homemade pasta? Yes, please! We will make, roll, and cut a few core shapes and match them with our favorite sauces.
Week Six: Poultry – Suffer from dinner party ‘fowls’? Juicy fried chicken, roasted turkey, and a few less-common birds you should be cooking at home (duck and quail and squab, oh my!).
Week Seven: Beef – We will be slow cooking beef (sous vide, anyone?) like short ribs and osso bucco, plus quick cooking a variety of cuts (Kalbi ribs!).
Week Eight: Fish & Shellfish – Find yourself staring at the fish case unfamiliar with the variety of choices, and unsure how to make them tasty? We will tackle familiar favorites and introduce some new seasonal go-tos. You’ll learn new ways to cook them all, plus you’ll work with whole fish and make a shellfish bisque.
Week Nine: Pork – When you make sausage at home you’ll realize it’s not only easy, but it can be made with some amazing ingredients. Pulled pork, crispy roasted pork belly, showpiece roasts, and quick-cooking weeknight cuts round out pork week.
Week Ten: Asia – It’s nearly impossible to nail down a few dishes from this region of the world but we do know we can’t get enough Asian dumplings and Indian Food around here. You’ll learn how to fill and form a variety of steamed and fried dumplings (party-perfect food you can have stashed in your freezer). Our Indian menu will be a spice-filled variety of your favorite dishes: curries, chutneys, chickpeas, and so much more.
Week Eleven: Menu Planning & Market Basket – Planning a menu and improvisational cooking should be intuitive at this point. We’ll get tons of practice doing both this week
Week Twelve: Party Prep & a Dinner Party – The last night of class we are throwing ourselves one amazing dinner party – time to put all this practice to good use.
- Wine included
- Light 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.
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.
Prior to founding SFCS, Jodi Liano spent 15 years as an instructor at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. She is also a veteran of food media with experience ranging from working the kitchens of the Food Network in New York to recipe development for Bon Appétit magazine to writing multiple cookbooks for Williams-Sonoma, including the popular Cooking from the Farmer’s Market.