8 hands-on classes in metro Atlanta to get you cooking for the holidays

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Enjoy a hands-on cooking class at Vino Venue in Dunwoody. Photo courtesy of Vino Venue.

With the holiday season in full swing, you might be in need of some new culinary inspiration for the forthcoming parties, gatherings and special meals in the weeks ahead. Whether you’re an expert cook or a novice in the kitchen, these cooking classes scattered across metro-Atlanta’s neighborhoods will give you tips and tricks to impress your guests just in time for the holidays. Read on to see what’s cooking near you…

  1. Vino Venue
    Located just outside the perimeter in Dunwoody, Vine Venue is a unique destination that’s part wine bar, part wine shop, part restaurant and part cooking school. They offer a host of wine and cooking classes, tastings and dinners. Arrive a little early before your cooking class to sample some premium wines from their enomatic machines, then uncork your inner chef inside their state-of-the-art kitchen in the back. A professional chef offers instruction (and kitchen secrets and tips you can add to your culinary skillset), while you get hands-on cooking a multicourse meal with wine pairings. They offer a wide variety of classes every month throughout the year, covering a range of various cuisines. In December, don’t miss the Gingerbread House Decorating Party for All Ages classes ($39 each) on Dec. 2 and 9 at noon and 3 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. Note: class sizes are limited and may sell out quickly.
    4478 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody, 770-668-0435, vinovenue.com.
  2. Big Green Egg Culinary Center
    Beginning cooks and grill masters alike will be intrigued by the cooking classes offered at the Big Green Egg Culinary Center in Doraville. Holiday-themed classes this December range from $45-$85 and span everything from pie making to cooking Hanukah and Christmas dinners on your Big Green Egg. Their Make and Take classes are a fun way to cook up gifts for giving. This Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., sign up for the “Make and Take: Cold Smoking Gifts for the Holidays – Cheeses, Nuts and Jams” class ($65) to learn how to cold smoke some goodies for the season. On the menu: White Oak smoked gouda with charred onion and thyme jam; rosemary smoked brie with spicy pecans; applewood-smoked cheddar with ginger and grilled lemon, and orange smoked salmon with caper aioli. Check out the full class schedule at biggreenegg.com/culinary-center.
    3786 DeKalb Technology Pkwy., Atlanta.

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    Sharpen your culinary skills with a cooking class at The Cook’s Warehouse, which has three Atlanta-area locations. Photo by Erik Meadows Photography.

  3. The Cook’s Warehouse
    With locations in town, Chamblee and East Cobb, The Cook’s Warehouse is a retail store offering gourmet cookware and professional cutlery in addition to a plethora of cooking classes that include menu recipes to take home, samples of the food prepared and complimentary beverages. Students also get a 10 percent discount off in-store purchases (excluding alcohol) before and after class that same day in case you want to bring some tools of the trade home with you. Classes vary by location, but you can expect to find plenty of holiday-focused options in the line-up for December. Learn how to whip up a holiday brunch (10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Dec. 2 at East Cobb, $69) or churn out adorable treats for a cookie swap (10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 at Peachtree Station, $69). They’re also offering classes on holiday-focused appetizers, dinner parties, gingerbread houses, cookie decorating, cakes, regional feasts from around the globe and even some kid-friendly courses, among many others. We think this class looks really fun too: Elegant Appetizers for New Year’s Hands-On class ($69) from 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the East Cobb location. Peruse the full schedule of classes and sign up at cookswarehouse.com. For class info, call 800-499-0996.
    Various locations, cookswarehouse.com.

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    Salud! Cooking School is offered inside Whole Foods Market in Johns Creek and Whole Foods Market at Avalon in Alpharetta. Photo courtesy of Alpharetta CVB.

  4. Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods
    Sharpen your kitchen skills or just have a fun night out with Salud! Cooking School, which is offered inside Whole Foods Market in Johns Creek and Whole Foods Market at Avalon in Alpharetta. Salud! offers themed classes like Kids Cook, Girls’ Night Out, Families Cook and Date Night, as well as several holiday specials in December. At Johns Creek, try the Vegetarian Holiday Sides class on Dec. 7, Girls’ Night Out Holiday Wine & Appetizer Favorites on Dec. 8, Christmas in Charleston on Dec. 15 or the Kids Cook Holiday Cookie Workshop on Dec. 16, among many others. There’s also a Mommy & Me Holiday Cookies for Tots class from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. on Dec. 20 (ages 3-5 and parent) for just $19. For more info, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/salud.
    5945 State Bridge Rd., Johns Creek, 770-442-3354 x 1; 2800 Old Milton Pkwy., Alpharetta, (770) 442-3354 x2.
  5. Williams-Sonoma
    Boasting numerous locations across metro-Atlanta (including Buford at the Mall of Georgia and Norcross), Williams-Sonoma hosts technique and cooking classes in-store throughout the year. On Dec. 7 from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., visit participating stores for the Christmas Cookie Exchange ($30, includes Cookie Gift Set). You’ll get recipes from some of the brand’s favorite baking bloggers—including Joy the Baker and Gaby Dalkin—plus tips for hosting a cookie exchange party in your home. Call your local store for more details and additional classes offered. Find your store at williams-sonoma.com.

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    With locations in town at Phipps Plaza and in Alpharetta at North Point Mall, Sur La Table is serving up an array of holiday-centered classes this December. Photo courtesy of Alpharetta CVB.

  6. Sur La Table
    With locations in town at Phipps Plaza and in Alpharetta at North Point Mall, retail store Sur La Table is serving up an array of holiday-centered classes this December. You might want to take note of the Cookie Decorating Workshop on Dec. 6 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., where you’ll learn simple techniques for transforming icing and sugar cookies into edible art. Or try the Decadent Holiday Chocolates class on Dec. 10 from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m., where you’ll be making chocolate peppermint bark with pistachios, dark chocolate and cranberry biscotti, salted chocolate caramels and rum-raisin dark chocolate truffles. Both classes are offered at Phipps and North Point for $69 each. Check out more classes at surlatable.com.
    1082 North Point Cir., Alpharetta, 678-280-0090; 3500 Peachtree Road, Suite 1035 Atlanta, 404-973-3375 .

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    il Giallo Osteria & Bar in Sandy Springs offers a hands-on pasta-making class with Chef Jamie Adams. Photo courtesy of il Giallo Osteria & Bar.

  7. il Giallo Osteria & Bar
    Celebrate the holidays in Italian style with homemade pasta this year. Hit up il Giallo Osteria & Bar in Sandy Springs this Saturday, Dec. 2 from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., when Chef Jamie Adams will lead a group of 14 guests in a hands-on pasta making class ($100). You’ll learn how to make several different varieties of pasta, and then join the chef for an intimate lunch to enjoy your creations with house-made sauces and wine pairings. The restaurant has held several tickets for the Dec. 2 class for release today, so snag them before they’re gone at ilgialloatl.com.
    5920 Roswell Rd. B-118, Sandy Springs, 404-709-2148.
  1. Publix Apron’s Cooking School
    The only Publix Apron’s Cooking School in the state of Georgia is located in Alpharetta, where you can participate in everything from techniques classes and hands-on cooking to demonstrations, kid’s and teen’s classes, and more. Coming up on Dec. 2 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.), take their Gingerbread Houses class ($60) that allows you and your kids (up to three children) to decorate your own gingerbread house without messing up your kitchen at home. Kids should be at least 4 years old, and one adult is required for each family group. Or on Dec. 7 from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., prepare for hosting with the Awesome Holiday Hors d’oeuvre Party class ($60), which will teach you how to make pimento cheese and bacon crostini; brie stuffed figs with pomegranate; mini smoked salmon croque monsieur; pecan tassies; mini almond-ginger cheesecakes. For additional classes on the schedule, visit publix.com/recipes-planning/aprons-cooking-schools/alpharetta/classes.
    4305 State Bridge Rd., Alpharetta, 770-751-8560.

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