While New Orleans is unique in many ways, it’s no question that our food sets us apart from the rest. Even if you’re well versed in the kitchen, you might find it difficult to replicate some of our quintessential dishes without a true understanding of technique and a little history of how they came into existence. Locals will admit that we’re all a bit emotionally tied to our own individual versions of gumbo, étouffée, or jambalaya… why, you ask? “Cause that’s how grandmama made it!” The good news is that even if you didn’t have a grandmama teaching you how to make a roux, you can still learn by taking a cooking class at one of these fantastic cooking schools. You’ll learn the important basics, have a ton of fun, and better understand why New Orleans cuisine is beloved by people all over the world.
Crescent City Cooks
First opened in 2009, Crescent City Cooks offers cooking classes in the French Quarter with demonstration and hands on options at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day of the week. Learn to make all the classics like red beans and rice, chicken and andouille gumbo, seafood gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée, bananas foster, bread pudding, and more! After your class be sure to visit their shop and stock up on kitchen utensils, spices, and great local cookbooks.
New Orleans School of Cooking
Named the 2018 Traveler’s Choice #6 Experience in the World and #2 in the United States by TripAdvisor, New Orleans School of Cooking offers on and off site demonstration and hands on cooking classes, private parties, and an awesome retail selection. Since 1980 they’ve been offering three to four classes throughout the day with a focus on technique and culinary history.
Langlois, Culinary Crossroads
Since opening in 2012, Langlois is a place where chef and owner Amy Sins and her team share their passion for local cuisine by way of private cooking classes, Cajun/Creole dinner parties, live cooking shows, and team building cooking competitions. They refer to themselves as a traveling culinary entertainment group and have been called one of the “Best Cooking Schools Around the World” by Travel + Leisure magazine. Whether you’re planning a brunch or dinner party for two or 100 people, this is the city’s premier cooking education team.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum
Calling all history buffs! If learning about the region and history of a particular recipe or dish interests you, then a cooking class at SoFAB is just the ticket. The museum, located on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, offers three demonstration-style cooking classes celebrating Creole, Cajun, and Creole Italian cuisine. Learn to make favorites like jambalaya, bananas foster, gumbo, and snowballs. A tour of the museum, copies of the recipes, and a cocktail book or custom spice mix are included with the purchase of a class. Classes are offered Mondays and Thursdays at 11 a.m.
New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI)
Whether you’re a professional or an amateur in the kitchen, the new, state-of-the-art New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute is the place for you. The space at NOCHI is perfect for hosting private events as well as for honing in on your cooking techniques, which anyone can do through their enthusiast courses. Hands-on classes include a full family-style meal, while demonstration classes include lectures, tasting, and demos. With ever-rotating topics ranging from Cajun entertaining to secret bartender techniques, you’ll never grow bored at NOCHI.