Top Five Restaurant Cooking Classes

If you want to learn cooking, go straight to the experts.

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The Buddha bowl at Ezra's Enlightened Cafe
The Buddha bowl at Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe

Photo by Tony Valainis

Wholesome
Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe, 6516 Ferguson St., 317-255-3972, ezrasenlightenedcafe.com
Two-hour classes held each month address a variety of holistic topics like herbal remedies and dishes, how to prep healthy raw food on a budget, organic blender recipes, and vegan picnic fare. The sessions cost $35.

Outdoorsy
Chef JJ’s Back Yard, 1040 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-602-3828, chefjjs.com
Guests interact with the chef while picking up Big Green Egg grilling techniques. Two-hour $60 classes are offered every week and include recipes, nonalcoholic drinks, beer tastings, and four medium-plate courses.

Gourmet
Oakleys Bistro, 1464 W. 86th St., 317-824-1231, oakleysbistro.com
For those who want to experience what it’s like to work the line at a fine restaurant, the bistro’s “Chef for a Day” program offers total immersion in a professional kitchen environment. Expect to butcher meat, clean fish, cut vegetables, make risotto, and assist with whatever the kitchen staff is doing that day. The $200 fee includes your own three-course dinner at Oakleys that night.

R Bistro ice cream
R Bistro ice cream

Photo by Stacy Newgent

Carnivorous
Smoking Goose Meatery, 407 N. Dorman St., 317-638-6328, smokinggoose.com
Monthly “meat school” classes alternate between whole-hog butchering and sausage-making and include a facility tour plus a break for salumi and smoked-meat treats halfway through the session. Classes range from $120 to $150. Participants go home with their own Smoking Goose knit hat and a selection of pork cuts or sausages.

Laidback
R Bistro, 888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312, rbistro.com
In keeping with R Bistro’s fresh locavore style, sous chef Erin Kem conducts twice-monthly onsite classes on Wednesday evenings. Sometimes the focus might be on seasonal menus; other nights might highlight the distinctive cuisine of specific countries and regions. The $80 classes start at 6:30 p.m. and can last a leisurely four hours.

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