Learning to taste

Boulder County boasts a big roster of cooking, baking, cheesemaking, coffee-brewing, truffle-crafting and mixology classes


You can look at cooking videos all day long on YouTube and Tik Tok, but the experience will never equate to learning in-person from a talented instructor.

At a cooking or food-crafting class, you use the right ingredients and equipment, get instant feedback and enjoy cooking with friends, family, mates and second dates.

Cooking classes got shelved during the pandemic, just when so many of us got interested in everything from sourdough baking to mozzarella making.

Happily, Boulder County’s full roster of schools and educational experiences have all re-opened, whether you want to hone your ability to brew coffee, cook vegan Thai cuisine, bake croissants, craft your own burrata or mix cocktails.

These courses provide hands-on instruction designed for all skill levels, from kids to teens and adults. Some classes are demonstration only and designed around socializing. Others are serious studies of techniques and ingredients.

A tip: If there is one single class you could take to upgrade your cooking and eat healthier, cheaper and more sustainably for the rest of your cooking life, it’s a session in choosing, using and sharpening knives.

Cooking classes at Escoffier School of Culinary Arts focus on learning specific techniques and dishes.

Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

637 S. Broadway, Boulder

Boulder’s renowned professional cooking school is once again hosting a full range of classes for home cooks. Taught by chef Dallas Houle, these sessions focus on learning specific techniques, dishes and ingredients and are designed to spark a passion for cooking without being intimidating. Classes are open to singles, couples and for team building.

Upcoming classes: 

Vegetarian Indian cooking, March 27 

Mexican street tacos, sauces, tortillas and fillings, April 2 

Plant-based fresh pasta and stuffed pasta, April 10 

Knife sharpening and care, April 29

Sur La Table

1850 29th St., Boulder

The Sur La Table store maintains a busy schedule of cooking and baking classes for adults. Kids and teens get a chance to develop skills during summer classes.

Upcoming classes: 

Pistachio macarons, April 8 

New England crab cakes, April 12 

Bagels from scratch, April 20 

Spanish paella, May 6

Date night: Tuscan villa, May 26

Food Lab

1825 Pearl St., Boulder

Boulder’s Food Lab is a warm and inviting environment offering diverse classes for adults, including date-night cooking classes. During the summer, Food Lab hosts ongoing cooking and baking camps for kids and teens.

Upcoming classes: 

Kids empanadas workshop, March 30 

Dim sum, April 5

Fresh pasta workshop,  April 16 

Japanese small plates, April 18

Date night in Bordeaux, April 29

Journey Culinary

706 Kimbark St., Longmont

Longmont’s Journey Culinary offers an immersive approach to learning about international cuisines including Spanish, Mediterranean and Peruvian fare. Classes include the history and geography of a dish, and insight into techniques, equipment, ingredients and spices, plus appropriate music in the background.

Upcoming classes: 

A Taste of New Orleans, March 29 

Peruvian cuisine, April 26 

Mediterranean & Middle Eastern brunch, May 27

Spanish tapas night, June 3 

Flavors of France, June 7


Art of Cheese

11227 N. 66th St., Longmont

There are few culinary experiences quite as satisfying and fun as making cheese, especially when you get to meet the goats who supply the milk you use to make it. The Art of Cheese offers a hands-on opportunity to learn how to make everything from mozzarella and burrata to queso fresco and hard cheeses. The offerings range from casual classes on the farm to a curd nerd’s delight: cheesemaking bootcamp!

Upcoming classes: 

Full-day beginner cheesemaking bootcamp, April 8

Mozzarella and burrata with goat farm tour, April 14

Cheesemaking 101 with cheese and cider pairing and baby goats, April 19

Intro to hard cheese, April 29 

Cinco de Mayo queso fresco class, May 5 

Farm-to-cheese: milk-a-goat cheesemaking and farm tour, May 19

Ozo Coffee

Ozo Coffee Roastery, 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Boulder

For many of us, those first cups of coffee in the morning border on a sacred experience. Unfortunately, many of us actually make some fairly awful coffee at home. Boulder’s Ozo Coffee, which operates five coffee shops in the area, also hosts classes at its main roasting facility. Courses range from brewing using pour-over equipment to learning the skills necessary to craft espresso and other coffee drinks. Students go home to practice with samples of Ozo coffee.

Upcoming classes: 

Manual brew methods for home, April 16, May 14 

Barista (espresso) classes, April 23, May 28

Piece, Love & Chocolate

805 Pearl St., Boulder

Kids of all ages flock to this cacao paradise for truffles, hot chocolate and more. True chocolate geeks know this Boulder shop as a place to learn from experts how to work with chocolate, truffles and ganache and make flourless chocolate cake, macarons and eclairs. You can also set up private group lessons for team building or a birthday. 

Upcoming classes: 

Tasty truffles and ganache techniques, March 25, April 8

Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, oh my!, April 1

Chocolate soufflé and flourless chocolate cake, April 22

Chocolate eclairs and cream puffs, April 29

Harlequin’s Gardens

4795 North 26th St., Boulder

This North Boulder garden center is a great source for instruction with experts on local home gardening and growing mushrooms.

Upcoming classes: 

Seed starting for home gardeners, April 1

Intro to edible and medicinal plants, April 8

Growing mushrooms on logs and
stumps, April 15 

Culinary herbs, May 6

Gardening with mushrooms, May 20

Best fruit trees for Boulder, June 11

Chez Delphine

Chez Delphine

French-born pastry pro Delphine Gauvain of Chez Delphine, a cottage French bakery in Superior, offers French baking classes in her kitchen or your home. Learn how to make madeleines, palmiers, sacristains, palets bretons, sables a la fraise and other baked delights. 

Sima’s Chocolate

Contact Sima at 720-688-5585 or chocolatesima@gmail.com

A Boulder chocolate pro teaches hands-on classes for one or more students in how to temper chocolate and make your own truffles, pralines and other seasonal chocolate treats. 

Other Local Culinary Classes

Charcuterie and meat and cheese board classes: Al’s Artisanal Meats and Cheeses, Lafayette

Monthly mixology classes: Farow Restaurant, Niwot

Wood-fired, Texas-style barbecue classes: AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Denver  

John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles Thursday mornings on KGNU (88.5 FM, kgnu.org)