Have you ever taken a cooking class or signed up for a workshop on growing vegetables? While we all might have favorite cookbooks or online videos, in person classes are best. You’re able to follow along as others ask questions that you may not have thought of and then ask your own. What does well kneaded bread dough feel like? How do you know when a vegetable is properly roasted or steamed? Can your nose tell you when spices are perfectly toasted? What does it sound like when cider doughnuts are ready to be taken out of the hot oil. A class allows you to use all of your senses and allows you to immerse yourself in the experience.
Taking a cooking class is a lot of things...It’s learning, it’s fun, and it is great to do with friends. In Vermont, whether you like to bake, cook with herbs, ferment food, or learn how to use the flavors of a new cuisine, there is something for everyone! Here are some of our favorite places and people to learn from. Before you visit, build your own trail to help you explore and plan more adventures.
King Arthur Flour - Norwich
People travel from around the country to take a class at the King Arthur Flour store and education center. With its wide ranging schedule, visitors can learn to bake a croissant, master the breads of Italy or spend an afternoon learning cookie decorating techniques. From beginners to professionals this is a baker’s paradise. Stay overnight at the Norwich Inn and explore the area.
Brot Bakehouse School and Kitchen - Fairfax
This tiny bread bakery in Fairfax uses natural leavens and a wood-burning oven to produce magical loaves of bread. Enjoy the views and a spread of cheese and conversation after your class with bakeress and founder Heike Meyer, who grew up in the bread center culture of Germany. Classes range from learning how to make authentic neopolitan pizza to making brioche and crepes as part of a French breakfast class to more intensive classes spending a day learning to master sourdough or rye breads. And why not make a mini-vacation too; Hotel Vermont offers a special weekend package, with overnight accommodations, a hands-on class at the bakery and $50 off a dinner at Juniper Bar and Restaurant.
Richmond Community Kitchen - Richmond
Richmond Community Kitchen offers different cooking classes almost every week. Their classes are limited to twelve students, which allows for a wonderful evening or afternoon of cooking and making new friends. You cook together, learn together, and at the end of class, eat together. These hands-on lessons taught by chef instructors range from the basics to the more exotic.
Red Wagon Plants - Hinesburg
Interested in growing and learning about gardening and cooking with herbs? Join the Red Wagon folks in the greenhouse for an herb garden workshop or explore the many different varieties of tomatoes.
Essex Resort and Spa - Essex
Enjoy a gourmet getaway at this special resort. Most classes at the Cooks Academy at the Essex Resort and Spa include a three- or four-course meal. And the best part is eating the result of your efforts. Classes vary throughout the year depending on the season and availability of fresh ingredients - they have included cooking with Vermont beer, making fresh pasta, wine tastings and vegetarian cooking.
Many of our cozy bed and breakfasts and inns offer special classes and weekend stays. Pick raspberries and learn to make muffins. Or spend your weekend learning food photography. There are many creative and unique options.
The Daily Meal says the Inn at Weatherfield has the best hotel restaurant in the state. Learn from the best and spend time in their classroom "The Hidden Kitchen" to learn everything from farm to table butchery to charcuterie to vegetarian cuisine with Chef Michael Ehlenfeldt and guest chef instructor.
At DigInVT, we believe farmers know everything. And our Vermont farms are generous with sharing their knowledge. From cheesemaking, to wildcrafting and beekeeping, raising chickens, vegetable gardening, and so such more, it will be hard to decide which farm to choose and which workshop to take. Shelburne Farms is a working farm with classes and camps for all ages. It is in their mission statement "to inspire and cultivate learning for a sustainable future." Their year round schedule will take you on a morning bird walk, spring wildcrafting or learning how to make butter in a camp. Cate Hill Orchard and Sheep Dairy in Greensboro offers sheep cheesemaking classes as well as lessons in pruning your fruit trees. The 517 acre historic apple orchard, Scott Farm, in Dummerston established in 1791, is home to 40 acres of orchards managed by orchardist Zeke Goodband, producing 125 varieties of ecologically-grown heirloom apples and other fruits. Every spring Zeke offers a pruning workshop for backyard fruit growers. This is the place to go to learn about fruit trees and taste history.
Some people may go to festivals to eat and listen to music, but did you know you can sometimes take a class too? Whether you join the folks at the Maple Open House weekend, Vermont Brewers Festival, the Vermont Cheesemakers festival, or Open Farm Week, be sure to set aside time to sign up for any learning opportunities offered.