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Turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day

You can take that special dinner into your own hands
with these cooking classes from local chefs

Larry Harris is one of Get Cooking’s instructors.  (Courtesy of Kathryn Joel)

By Bailey Stefan

VALENTINE’S DAY is almost synonymous with food, from candy hearts to chocolates, to heart-shaped pizzas. Usually, that means a trip to the candy store, or to Skip the Dishes, but even the least skilled cook can eliminate the middle man.

One of the city’s many cooking classes can help.

You can spend Valentine’s Day (or any of the three days leading up to the big day) at Café Sorrentino under the careful tutelage of Chef Antonio Tardi, as he teaches you to make a three-course meal.

“In my culture, Valentine’s is all about healthy food, seafood, and a little bit of chocolate,” says Tardi, who hails from Naples. He says he crafted the classes with those things in mind.

Each class over the weekend leading up to Valentine’s Day includes instructions on how to make a cocktail, an appetizer, a seafood main and a dessert

“Cooking is an act of romance at the end of the day. Something magic happens between two partners while they’re cooking,” Tardi says.

For $229.43 per ticket (each ticket gets two people into the class), you and your loved one can learn how to create a romantic evening full of learning, loving and, of course, eating. Head to the Café Sorrentino website to sign up. (The Feb. 11 and 14 classes are already sold out.)

If staying in is more your speed, Get Cooking offers five cooking classes over Zoom. (You can sign up for any of their classes at their website.)  

One such class is their Valentine’s weekend-long lesson in making the ultimate bagel.

The bagel journey begins Friday, with Get Cooking’s head chef Kathryn Joel walking students through gin and beetroot-cured salmon.

Then, cheesemaker Aditya Raghavan takes over on Saturday afternoon to teach how to make cream cheese from scratch.

The weekend ends on Sunday morning, with how to make the perfect bagel, from bread expert Larry Harris.

Can’t commit to an entire weekend? All three classes are available separately.

If you were thinking of cooking something a bit more classically romantic, Get Cooking is also offering a Saturday class in egg yolk ravioli, taught by Mai Nguyen, and a Sunday Lobster Thermidor, again taught by Joel.

“There’s always one person teaching and one person hosting the chat, so we can answer questions and keep it conversational,” Joel says. “They’re fun, and we try to build as many skills as we can into each class.” 

The classes range in price from $31.50 to $120.75 (for the bagel bundle), but ingredients are not included, and you must buy them yourself. People who enrol will be emailed an ingredient and specialty equipment list, as well as the recipe and Zoom link.

“The best way to enjoy our classes is at home, with your date and a glass of wine,” Joel says. “And empty your dishwasher, because there will be lots of dishes!”

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