What are the Different Types of Cooking Courses?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Cooking courses are a wonderful way to indulge an interest in creating and preparing food and drink. There are many different types of cooking courses, geared toward all cuisines and skill-levels. Taking a class can be a great way to learn skills, make friends, and discover a new appreciation for food of all kinds.

A cupcake decorated in a cake decorating course.
A cupcake decorated in a cake decorating course.

Skill level and commitment are major questions in determining what type of cooking courses to take. Those looking to become professional chefs may want to enroll in a full-time course of study at a cooking school. These courses can take several years to complete, but can greatly aid a chef on the path to a rewarding career. Casual classes that last several weeks or months are often available through community colleges and outreach programs, and may provide detailed basic training in a more casual environment. Cooking supply stores, restaurants, and community programs may also offer one day or one weekend classes that teach a few dishes or specialize in mastering a single meal or food concept.

A chef.
A chef.

Some cooking courses are based on cuisine or even food choice. Those excited by making great desserts can check local patisseries or baking suppliers for available classes in cake decorating, candy-making, or pastry skills. People fascinated by the cuisine of a certain country or culture may be able to find classes that cover not only the dishes and recipes but also provide information about the history and function of food in that society.

Cooking courses can also focus on preparing food for a certain lifestyle. Some cooking schools offer classes in vegetarian and vegan cooking. Other courses may be beneficial for those with medical conditions that require special diets, such as low-fat, sugar-free, or gluten-free cooking classes. These lifestyle and diet classes can help participants create healthy and nutritious meals that may be tailored to suit individual needs.

Holiday classes are another type of popular course that are frequently offered on a casual basis. In a weekend or a few sessions, participants may learn to master traditional or quirky holiday dishes. This can be a great opportunity for frequent entertainers to inject new dishes into a recipe file for holiday parties.

Some cooking courses can even be based around social events or occasions. Cooking for couples classes allow partners to learn to work as a team in the kitchen, providing new skills and a fun way to be together. Singles cooking classes often have a social air and a focus on making friends as well as food geared toward romantic dates and fun singles events.

Some experienced cooks and chefs offer culinary classes for private clients.
Some experienced cooks and chefs offer culinary classes for private clients.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments


@clintflint - I disagree. There are still cooking schools for a reason. There's something better about being able to ask questions as you're making something, or having a person look over your shoulder and explain what you've done wrong.

Most people just starting out wouldn't even know what they had done wrong if they made a mistake and looking it up online might not help.

I mean, we've had recipe books explaining how to cook for a long, long time now and cooking classes are as popular as ever. I think that says something about how the human mind works when it is learning something new. We like to learn from a teacher.


@umbra21 - In theory, she could probably look most things up on the internet if she has a printed copy of the recipe to refer to. It's nice to go to cooking courses but there is so much information available online that it's not strictly necessary these days.

You can figure out how to make just about anything from videos or instructions. In fact, you could probably learn a lot more online than you would ever get in a class, because there are so many different diverse chefs generously putting their techniques out there. If you can imagine it and it's possible, it's likely someone has already made a tutorial for it and it's only a search away.


Just remember to take notes after or during the class if you are really serious about wanting to learn the recipes. My mother took some Indian cooking courses a few years ago and enjoyed herself so much she didn't end up writing anything down.

Even though they did give her some printed recipes, there were a lot of different processes and basics that weren't written down and she can't really remember off the top of her head. So she's never actually ended up using the things she learned in real life.

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