Weigl: Choices grow for cooking classes

andrea.weigl@newsobserver.comOctober 30, 2012 

  • Cooking school options in the Triangle The Cookery offers cooking instruction and just launched a series of wine classes; Cost: $45-$50; 1101 W. Chapel Hill St. Durham; 919-908-8974, durhamcookery.com. Durham Spirits Co. offers classes in cooking and mixology. Cost: $49-$118; 311 E. Trinity Ave., Durham; 425-463-5430; durhamspiritscompany.com. The Chef’s Academy, a professional culinary school in Morrisville, offers cooking and wine pairing classes for the public. Cost: $45-$65; 2001 Carrington Mill Blvd., Morrisville, 919-246-9044; thechefsacademy.com. (Look under “Programs & Classes” and then “Community Classes and Events.”) Southern Season, a kitchen and housewares store at Chapel Hill’s University Mall, offers cooking classes, often featuring visiting cookbook authors. Cost: $25-$90; 201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel Hill, 919-929-7133, southernseason.com. Sur La Table, a kitchenwares store at Durham’s The Streets at Southpoint, offers cooking classes. Cost: $59-$100; 8030 Renaissance Parkway, Durham, 919-248-4705, surlatable.com. (Click on Durham store location and scroll down to see list of classes.) Triangle Wine School is run by master of wine Sheri Sauter Morano, who teaches wine certification classes at Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro. At the end of a series of classes, students are tested and become certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Cost: Varies. trianglewineschool.com.

For those who like to learn about food and wine, the Triangle is becoming a delicious place to live.

Sur La Table opened last week at Durham’s The Streets at Southpoint. With 100 stores across the country, Sur La Table claims to be the nation’s largest avocational cooking school.

For a long time, Chapel Hill’s Southern Season was the only option for cooking classes in the Triangle. Wine education was pretty much limited to retail stores, including Southern Season, where owners offered regular tastings and occasional classes.

That is no longer the case. Sur La Table joins a number of new venues for cooking and wine classes from Morrisville to Carrboro.

The Cookery, a culinary incubator in Durham, has offered classes for a year. “They are constantly selling out,” said co-owner Rochelle Johnson. Their instruction on food and wine pairings was such a hit that Johnson has partnered with wine consultant Mary Margaret McCamic to offer a series of classes, starting Nov. 13 with “Language of Wine,” aimed at taking the intimidation out of wine.

McCamic also is an instructor at The Chef’s Academy, the only professional culinary school in the Triangle to offer classes to the public. At its Morrisville campus, McCamic will teach classes on pairing food and wine while other instructors lead holiday-themed cooking classes. The classes start Nov. 10 and continue into the new year.

Jayson Boyers, national division president of The Chef’s Academy, sees these classes as a way for the school to become better known in the community. Plus, Boyers says, “It really is about getting people excited about food.”

Then there is Katie Coleman, a former instructor in the culinary program at The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham. She opened The Durham Spirits Co., a cooking and mixology school in a historic home in the Old North Durham neighborhood last year. Coleman’s school offers students a chance to learn in a kitchen similar to their own.

In Carrboro, Master of Wine Sheri Sauter Morano is leading a series of wine certification classes at Open Eye Cafe. Morano’s Triangle Wine School offers beginner, intermediate and advanced courses – all approved by the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust. The time commitment and cost increase at each level.

All of these schools post their class schedules online. That means furthering your wine and food knowledge is just a click away.

Weigl: 919-829-4848 or aweigl@newsobserver.com

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