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Each week, KCUR's Adventure! newsletter brings you a new way to explore the Kansas City region.

Kansas City is a big food town, but it also offers a buffet of classes for aspiring home cooks

Culinary Center of Kansas City class
Culinary Center of Kansas City
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The Culinary Center of Kansas City, located in Downtown Overland Park, hosts more than 600 cooking classes each year.

Cooking classes are a fun, affordable and enriching way to gain a new skill, eat well and even meet new people. Thankfully, the Kansas City area is teeming with culinary opportunities for at-home chefs, no matter your level of expertise.

This story was first published in KCUR's Creative Adventure newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

With winter approaching, what better time is there to learn a new cooking skill? Whether it's baking bread, crafting an exquisite charcuterie board, or preparing dishes from another culture, a cooking class can help take your culinary skills to the next level.

Online and in-person culinary classes can be a fun, affordable and enriching way to gain a new skill, eat well and even meet new people. Cooking classes can easily help you expand your culinary command and recipe repertoire — all while saving money on takeout.

Thankfully, the Kansas City area is teeming with educational opportunities for at-home chefs no matter your level of expertise. Here are some local spots to help you get cooking.

In-person cooking classes

Culinary Center of KC.jpg
Culinary Center of Kansas City
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At the Culinary Center of Kansas City, curious cooks can opt for fundamentals like Knife Skills or Bread-Making 101, learn how to make a plant-based holiday menu, or learn new holiday cookie recipes.

Culinary Center of Kansas City

The Culinary Center of Kansas City in Downtown Overland Park offers plenty of options to inspire culinary curiosities. The Center hosts more than 600 cooking classes annually, taught by instructors including professional chefs with ample industry experience, professors, pitmasters and plant-based dietary specialists in cuisines from around the world.

Classes are listed online and tend to fill up fast, with new options added regularly. You can opt for fundamentals like Knife Skills or Bread-Making 101, learn how to make a plant-based holiday menu, or learn new holiday cookie recipes. Look out for pastry and baking classes, world and regional cuisines, date night dining classes, and even primers on wine, beer and spirits.

Billie's Grocery

The Union Hill-area restaurant and bakery Billie's Grocery offers courses demonstrating how to make a range of culinary dishes, including gluten-free crepes, Mediterranean dishes and fish tacos. Hands-on classes involve demonstration-style cooking followed by a full meal to be enjoyed by guests family-style. You can check upcoming courses and event dates online.

Olive Tree

Located in Overland Park, Olive Tree offers in-store cooking classes to show you how to make gluten-free Thanksgiving sides as well as gluten-packed, irresistible cinnamon rolls. Small class sizes provide a more intimate cooking experience where guests can easily ask questions and interact with the chef or instructor. In each class, students learn how to prepare the dish, taste samples and take home complete recipes. Check Olive Tree's online calendar for upcoming classes.

A Thyme For Everything

Culinary classes at A Thyme for Everything in Lee's Summit tend to sell out quickly, a testament to the demand for this gourmet kitchen store's popular courses. Cookie decorating, cast iron pizza and Parisian winter fare are some of the store's many rotating classes. Many courses are sold out for the rest of the year, so check online to see what's coming in 2023.

At-home cooking classes

Jyoti Mukharji teaches Indian cooking classes from the comfort of her Prairie Village home.
Jill Wendholt Silva
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Flatland
Jyoti Mukharji teaches Indian cooking classes from the comfort of her Prairie Village home.

Indian cooking classes with Jyoti Mukharji

Jyoti Mukharji’s Indian cooking classes take a decidedly less formal approach than any culinary program you'll see here — and that's by design. Since she began teaching in 2010, Mukharji has welcomed "nearly 5,000 students into her Prairie Village home," with many classes selling out within 24 hours. She teaches students how to cook Indian dishes through a cozy, sensory-engaging experience.

These three-hour classes demonstrate how to fix vegetarian, non-vegetarian and street food. After class, students gather in the dining room to eat the meal prepared by Mukharji. Join her mailing list and sign up for a class by emailing her at jmukharji@gmail.com.

Cozymeal

The online service Cozymeal is another non-traditional learning option, offering cooking classes where a local chef comes to you. For example, an all-inclusive, three-hour sushi class includes hands-on instruction, a three-course meal and expert guidance along the way. Explore options for pizza making, delve into Caribbean cuisine, or let the good times roll with New Orleans Bourbon Street fare. Select the number of guests, book the date and time and learn to cook in the comfort of your own home.

Kids in the kitchen

Taste Buds Kitchen Kansas City
Taste Buds Kitchen
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Taste Buds Kitchen in Leawood, Kansas, operates as a culinary kitchen experience for kids during the day, with kids classes ranging from making handmade pasta to decorating donuts.

Taste Buds Kitchen

Taste Buds Kitchen in Leawood operates as a culinary kitchen experience for kids during the day and adults in the evening. Cooking classes, private lessons, online cooking instruction and cooking camps are available for the culinary-inclined of all ages.

Holiday enthusiasts may sign up for a gingerbread house decorating workshop or order a seasonal gingerbread house kit for a DIY adventure at home. Kids classes range from making handmade pasta to decorating donuts, while adults can finesse skills in preparing paella, Thai dishes, pasta from scratch and more.

Junior Chefs at Culinary Center of Kansas City

Teaching kids how to cook is one of the best ways a parent can help their kids prepare for adulthood. Thankfully, the Culinary Center of Kansas City can help! Its Junior Chefs in the Kitchen courses are designed for children ages 9-14 to learn the basics of cooking and baking.

The Culinary Center also hosts cooking camps for kids during school vacation days, such as Let's Learn to Cook, a two-day culinary arts camp coming up on Dec. 28-29.

Level up your charcuterie game

A charcuterie board is shown, featuring olives, strawberries, figs, blackberries, grapes, raspberries, brie cheese, rolled-up salami and crackers.
Anto Meneghini
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Unsplash
Level up your charcuterie game with one of many classes offered by Kansas City's Local Pig and Grazing KC.

Local Pig

Cheese and meat lovers can take a step beyond assembly of beautiful boards to hands-on curation under the guidance of Local Pig. In the Charcuterie class, learn how to cure a pork belly destined to become bacon, mix, stuff, ferment and smoke summer sausage, and much more. Carnivores can also learn how sausage is really made, or observe and participate in nose-to-tail butchering of a side of pork that yields fresh-cut meat to take home.

Grazing KC

Want to transcend a basic cheese and cracker plate? Discover how to artfully assemble a charcuterie board through a video workshop from Grazing KC. Private classes and giftable workshops are also available.

Pete Dulin is a Kansas City-based writer and author of four books, including Expedition of Thirst and Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland.
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