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Whether you’ve resolved to do more cooking at home this year, or you’re looking to expand your culinary repertoire, Vancouver has an abundance of options for helping your cause. For couples or kids, novices or weekend bakers, vegans or global gourmands, check out our picks for where to take cooking classes in Vancouver.

The Dirty Apron Cooking School

Photo via The Dirty Apron/Facebook

The Dirty Apron has risen to become perhaps the most prominent cooking school for food enthusiasts in Vancouver–and they’ve got their own cookbook, too. The school is owned by former Chambar Sous-Chef David Robertson and his wife Sara. Robertson teaches many of the classes (and teaches classes for other schools, too) and also brings in talented instructors and famous names to add to their impressive and wide-ranging roster of course offerings. The hands-on classes cover anything for the basics to themed courses focused on meat or seafood, or regional cuisine.

Address: 540 Beatty Street
Phone: (604) 879-8588

Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

Photo by Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (picachef)/Facebook

On the weekends, the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) makes way for the home cooks with their hands-on Saturday technique classes and their fun Friday evening Cook! and the City classes. They’ll cover your basics, or take you on a journey to learn specialties like sushi making or bread baking.

Address: 101 – 1505 West 2nd Avenue
Phone: (604) 734-4488

Gourmet Warehouse

Get acquainted with your wok, the cuisine of Morocco, or how to make sushi at Gourmet Warehouse and their array of cooking classes. They offer hands-on and demonstration-style courses in a variety of skill and age levels, for amateurs and experts alike. You may also be tempted to do a little food and housewares shopping in their store while you’re there, too.

Address: 1340 E Hastings Street
Phone: (604) 253-3022

Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks

Photo by Roland Tanglao/Flickr

Events at Vancouver’s premier cookbook shop are about inspiration, learning, and eating, though not in a traditional classroom setting. Hosting a spectrum of culinary voices, Books to Cooks‘ Sunday Social Suppers and chef-author visits afford food lovers the opportunity to sit down and savour the words and the food. Events sell out quickly, and while pricy, do tend to include the featured book and a meal.

Address: 1740 West 2nd Avenue
Phone: (604) 688-6755

Rooted Nutrition

Photo by Rooted Nutrition/Facebook

You may have seen the Rooted Nutrition booth at local farmers’ markets or festivals offering their delicious sauerkraut and fermented foods for sale or doing demos, but they also offer classes. With a focus on healthy eating education, Rooted Nutrition gives lessons on things like Kombucha, sprouted foods, and fermentation. You’ll find Rooted chef Andrea Potter and her expertise at other cooking schools, community events, and in partnership with other health-focused local organizations, too.

Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver

Photo by Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver/Facebook

While the Northwest Culinary Academy attracts those aspiring to have careers in the food industry, they also offer a set of “Enthusiast” classes aimed at teaching the home cook. Their 8-Day Basics is a popular pick for those looking to hone their skills at their home stoves, though the NWCAV also has private classes and specialty theme courses, ranging from knife skills to baking to Latin foods and more.

Address: 2725 Main Street
Phone: (604) 876-7653


Photo by Quince/Facebook

Vancouver’s Quince has a cooking class for just about any occasion or kitchen skill. Indian Bar Snacks, knife skills, pasta making, wine pairing, Valentine’s day cooking, or a series for the serious amateur are just a few of the numerous courses you can sign up for at this café, food shop, and cooking school one-stop-shop. Quince emphasizes fresh local food in their cooking and engage in green practices in order to be more sustainable. Chef and Sommelier Andrea Jefferson is the owner of Quince, and she brings her over two decades of professional cooking to the table.

Address: 1780 West 3rd Avenue
Phone: (604) 731-4645

Save On Meats

Photo: Raw bacon/Shutterstock

Save On Meats takes things beyond the burger with their four classes: Poultry Butchery, Sausage Making, Canning and Preserving, and Bacon Makin’ (yes: you can learn how to make your own bacon!). Their two-hour classes are offered regularly throughout the month, but do require at least five participants signed up in order to take place.

Address: 43 West Hastings Street
Phone: (604) 569-3568

Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver

Photo: Kneading dough/Shutterstock

If breads, cakes, and pastries are more your culinary cup of tea, head to the Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver. Of note is their series of Artisan Bread Baking courses. Once you’ve completed the basics class you can move on the a variety of specialty classes to learn the finer points of bread making.

Address: 818 Renfrew Street
Phone: (604) 569-1680

Dizzy Whisk

Photo: Little girl cooking/Shutterstock

If you’ve got a pint sized budding chef at home (translation: kid), you may want to put a call into the Dizzy Whisk for info on their classes. They focus on private lessons in the clients’ homes and special events such as birthday parties for kids and adults.  Dizzy Whisk is upgrading their website, but owner/operator Hilit Nurick can provide information about their classes via phone or email.

Address: 6257 Dunbar Street
Phone: (778) 998-3530

Jini’s Gourmet

Photo by Jini’s Ethnic Gourmet/Facebook

Jini Aroon specializes in “Healthy-licious” cooking. The “Ethnic Pleasures” author is a longtime vegetarian, and she teaches classes that provide “quick tips, recipes and special techniques,” to help cooks prepare healthy foods at home. Plus Aroon will help you meal plan, have a shopping strategy, and get more fruits and veggies into your meals. Also available is Aroon’s “A Taste of the World” class, and private instruction as well. Aroon teaches many courses in Delta, but also offers classes in Vancouver. Call for details.

Phone: (604) 940-9355

City of Vancouver

Photo: Boiling water in pot/Shutterstock

Cooking gets the civic treatment thanks to the City of Vancouver’s cooking and baking classes. With classes for little tots, kids, teens, seniors, and everyone in between, these affordable courses can help Vancouverites improve their cooking and baking skills.

Address: Various Community Centres in Vancouver

Featured image: Cooking class ingredients/Shutterstock

About the author

 Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she served as Editor of the city's top blog. She is passionate about all things food, local history, the written word, social media, her cat, and her son (not in that order...most days). Lindsay's first published piece was in The Province in December 1980, when the paper ran her letter to Santa.

Twitter: @squashblossom

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