You have three shopping days left ‘til Christmas (or two if you exchange gifts on Christmas Eve) – here’s another gift idea for foodies: a cooking class!
There are many great local places to take cooking classes; you can buy your gift recipient an actual specific class, or choose a gift certificate and let them decide which specific class to take (or give him or her the option to choose products instead of a class).
Here are some options:
New Leaf Market – buy a gift card (choose any amount and tell the cashier, who activates the card) and your recipient can choose to spend it on groceries, or ready-to-eat-food at the deli or hot bar, or classes. Classes range from 1-hour “store tour and tasting” topics (Jan 13 in Half Moon Bay is “Demystifying the Bulk Aisle,” only $10, a past hands-on class at Westside Santa Cruz was “Healthier Holiday Desserts” for $35). While you’re at New Leaf buying a gift card, make a gift to those in need by supporting the store’s participation in Second Harvest Food Bank’s “Give a Little, Feed a Lot” campaign. If you give $1 to the campaign when you check out, that $1 translates to $8 of food that Second Harvest can purchase. Second Harvest Food Bank provides food assistance to more than 17,000 people in our community each week through member agencies. 45% of those served are children.
The owner/chef of India Joze, Jozseph Schultz, offers cooking classes. He teaches at various locations including New Leaf and will hold classes at his restaurant in the future; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to purchase a gift certificate. Read more about India Joze in my article.
Kitchenware store Sur La Table offers cooking classes regularly. Formats include hands-on classes, demonstration classes, and special sessions for kids and teens. One of the newest classes is “Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Basics,” a three-part series developed in collaboration with chef/author (and most recently Top Chef judge) Bourdain. It’s designed to teach you kitchen essentials and you can sign up for one, two, or all three sessions. If you sign up for all three you receive a 15% discount and a free copy of his recent book “Medium Raw.” Learn more about Sur La Table classes.
Love Apple Farm, the biodynamic provider of all of renowned restaurant Manresa’s produce, recently moved and expanded its workshop offerings. It’s now located near Scotts Valley and has a beautiful facility perfect for classes. Gift certificates can be used to purchase tomato seedlings (over 100 varieties of heirloom tomato seedlings are offered each spring), gardening workshops and cooking classes. The 2011 class roster includes all-season vegetable growing, cheese-making, container gardening, garden bed design and construction, pasta making, herb gardening, chicken keeping, bee-keeping, kids’ farm-to-fork experiences, jam-making, preserves, composting, drip irrigation installation, and Love Apple’s specialty, tomato growing. Buy certificates here.
If you’d like to take a class in a private home in the Santa Cruz area, check out Chowhound. Experienced teacher and chef Denise Ward limits her classes to six people, and at the end of the class the group sits down for a full meal accompanied by wine. Classes are usually $60-75, and gift certificates are available. Right now if you order two certificates, you get a third one for half price (use it for yourself or for a gift…).
If you missed yesterday’s gift round-up related to supporting local farms, click here.
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