If you’re looking to get away from the classroom desk and take up something more hands-on, why not sharpen your culinary skills? There are more than a few places in the city where you can learn how to impress house guests and whip up something out of the ordinary. Here are a few:

Bonnie Stern School of Cooking

Cookbook author Bonnie Stern has made a name on sharing her expertise with foodies for 35 years. April’s schedule includes classes on modern Indian cuisine, quick appetizers for summer dinners and a university survival cooking class (quesadillas, Caesar salad and more). Call 416-484-4810 or visit www.bonniestern.comfor more details.

Big Carrot Natural Food Market

This natural grocer on the Danforth holds vegetarian cooking classes that focus on creating appetizers, casseroles and desserts with local, fresh and organic foods. Taught by Nettie Cronish, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Being Vegetarian In Canada, courses offer tips on how to from a meat diet to a vegetarian diet without suffering anemia or calcium deficiency. Visit www.thebigcarrot.ca/classes.htmor call 416-466-2129 for more info.


Bonnie Gordon School of Cake Decorating and Design

Wedding cake designer Bonnie Gordon holds hands-on cake decorating and baking workshops for both beginners and intermediates. Classes also feature: Tiered cakes, sugarwork, gum paste flowers, chocolate modelling and designer cupcakes and cookies. Visit www.bonniegordoncakes.comor call 416-440-0333.

Dish Cooking Studio

Dish has been featured in numerous local publications and television shows. It offers demos for all ages — some including modern Spanish tapas and one-pot dishes — and a hands-on barbecue class in late April. Visit www.dishcookingstudio.comor call 416-920-5559.

Aphrodite Cooks

Learn how to cook, and how to score a date, at this cooking studio for all sorts of singles — young, middle-aged, gay, straight or lesbian — in a relaxed and interactive atmosphere. Couples classes are also available. Call 416-792-3212 or visit www.aphroditecooks.com.

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