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Food & Drink

GoNOLA Tops: Learn to Cook, New Orleans-Style

These cooking classes are the key to creating NOLA-inspired dishes at home (and enjoying great food and great company as you learn).

With its mix of French, African, and Spanish flavors, New Orleans’ signature Creole cuisine is unique, yet more akin to Caribbean dishes than traditional American fare. For those of you who can’t get enough of the flavors of New Orleans, the city offers several cooking classes to school you on the basics of popular local dishes.

New Orleans School of Cooking demonstration. (Photo courtesy New Orleans School of Cooking)

New Orleans School of Cooking

Tucked away on St. Louis Street in the heart of the French Quarter, the New Orleans School of Cooking is a nationally recognized cooking school that offers daily open demonstration classes for you to follow along. Dishes range from red beans and rice (a Monday favorite in the city) to crawfish etouffee and sweet, sticky pralines. If you prefer to test things out for yourself in the kitchen, you can book a hands-on experience as well. Whichever class you choose, you’ll learn to prepare an authentic New Orleans meal. Another tasty perk? The instructors will send you home with recipe cards.

524 St. Louis Street, 1-800-237-4841

Langlois culinary demonstration (Photo courtesy Langlois Culinary Crossroads)

Langlois Culinary Crossroads

Named for Madame Langlois, the “mother of Creole cuisine,” Langlois Culinary Crossroads offers interactive cooking demonstrations in a former Italian grocery store. In addition to teaching the basics of Cajun and Creole cuisine, Langlois focuses on building foundational culinary techniques. Langlois’ focus on local cuisine extends to the Langlois Culinary Crossroads Farm in the Upper Ninth Ward from which the chefs source many of their ingredients. For an experience that feels more like preparing a meal and dining with friends, a demonstration at Langlois is for you.

710 Pauger Street, 504-934-1010

Southern Food and Beverage Museum

A class at the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air. (Photo: Stephen Binns)

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is the first of its kind in the world, offering insight into the food culture of the South through exhibits, in-house restaurant Purloo, a cocktail museum, and weekly cooking demonstrations. Every Monday at 11 a.m., the Museum offers “A Taste of New Orleans” cooking demonstrations in its state-of-the-art culinary demonstration center. Learn to whip up dishes like jambalaya and Bananas Foster, then peruse the museum’s exhibits afterward for a more in-depth look at the influences of local cuisine.

1609 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, 504-267-7490

New Orleans Cooking Experience

The dining room at New Orleans Cooking Experience. (Photo courtesy New Orleans Cooking Experience on Instagram)

Cooking classes are a whole lot more fun when they feel like you’re headed to a dinner party at a friend’s house. That’s the vibe at New Orleans Cooking Experience. You’ll learn to prepare traditional Creole and Cajun cuisine in a residential-style kitchen (so you know you can replicate it at home), plus you’ll feel confident in your culinary capabilities thanks to three special words: unlimited wine service. For a real treat, book one of the weekly classes by legendary local chefs like Chef Frank Brigtsen.

1519 Carondelet Street, 504-430-5274