Cook Street School of Fine Cooking offers even kitchen-impaired guys a chance to make dinner with their girlfriends and look good doing it. I took A World of Taste – Thai, one of their recreational “Wine & Cooking” classes last week. For $80, you get three and a half hours of animated instruction and good wine. The ladies love a man who’s capable in the kitchen, and the instructors at Cook Street will help take the pressure off of you. They make the whole process fun and simple, and give you plenty of time to drink wine and talk between sessions at the stove.

For those of you who already feel comfortable in the kitchen, Cook Street still has something to offer. The instructors will teach you about common cooking techniques as you make your way through that night’s recipes. For instance, I learned new things about searing meat: the oil should be smoking hot, the meat at room temperature, and it should be cooked until it comes off of the pan without much effort. We also had short lessons on classic knife techniques, blanching vegetables and how to deglaze a pan. Of course, I also learned how to make a few common Thai dishes: Tom Ka, green curry, and chicken kabobs with spicy peanut sauce.

Half of the fun was cooking with strangers. The other students in the class were couples and singles of all ages. Some of them were having a night away from the kids and some of them were just having their first date. Most seemed to have little to no experience with cooking. Our instructors entertained every question with admirable concern, from inquiries on technique to food substitutions. They were glad to make dietary exceptions for those students who needed it.

While a one-night class makes a perfect date, Cook Street also offers weekly cooking series and even professional programs.  Cook Street even has gift cards, perfect for the culinary klutz or cloistered couple in your life. Check out their website and cook up something classy.

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