Cooking Classes & Kitchen Training

The Culinary Center of Monterey offers an exciting opportunity to experience “hands-on” cooking classes taught by our resident chefs, as well as guest instructors and celebrity chefs. Each 550 square-foot dream kitchen provides a wok station, open-flame grills, and plenty of fire power!

Additional new, fun, and innovative classes are always being announced.

Learn how to use special ingredients in one of the Culinary Center of Monterey’s cooking classes where culinary chefs demonstrate the use of alternative ingredients for health and nutritional puposes.

Executive Chef George Hadres states… “Great chefs and great home cooks have one thing in common — a firm grasp of the fundamentals. All of our classes are designed to provide training in the fundamental techniques necessary for mastery of the class themes and objectives.”

The Culinary Center of Monterey offers an exciting opportunity to experience “hands-on” cooking classes taught by our resident chefs, as well as guest instructors and celebrity chefs. Each 550 square-foot dream kitchen provides a wok station, open-flame grills, and plenty of fire power!

  • 550-square-foot kitchens
  • 10-12 guests per class
  • Hands-on participation
  • 3-5 hour classes
  • Corporate “team building”
  • Customized classes
  • Resident, guest, & celebrity chef instructors
  • For about $125 per person a syllabus and a complete meal are included

The commercial kitchen is a showcase of stainless steel, charcoal gray and fire-engine red accents which serves as our largest classroom for up to 18 students. The classes delivered in this kitchen are designed for the culinary student/chef and focus more on commercial quantity cooking techniques.

State-of-the-art equipment includes pieces such as a smoker, tilt braiser, infrared broiler, and convection steam combination oven, in addition to a full hotline.

Our chef instructors will design classes for corporate contract training to satisfy specific areas or techniques for corporate caterers and food service establishments.

The cutting-edge design and equipment in all kitchens meet industry standards to provide appropriate venues for hosting national culinary competitions.

Class Curriculum

Appetizers Around the World
Every culture and cuisine has those special dishes designed to stimulate our appetite or to accompany a favorite beverage. Join us and learn some delicious and fun “finger foods” from the four corners of the world.

Appetizers Gourmet
Appetizers take many forms and shapes. This class will focus on starters that are appropriate for a dinner party — slightly fancy, very tasty, and EASY when you know the tricks.

Artisan Breads
From baguettes to brioche. We’ve all had breads that were a “cut-above” the normal. The crust was perfect, the texture was just right, and it soaked up the sauce perfectly. These are some of the characteristics of artisan breads because they are handled differently and more carefully. Roll up your sleeves with our baker as she shares some of the secrets.

Basic Bread Baking
There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. Good bread is a must for any good meal. In this class we will learn the basics of yeast-leavened bread, as well as quick breads. You will go home with loaves you baked yourself and the knowledge to do it all again.

Beer: Cooking with Beer
Not just with pizza anymore! From marinades and bastes to sauces and gravies, “beer is in”! Learn the recipes and techniques to pair beer & food.

Cake Baking: Basic Cakes I
This fundamental series class teaches the basic techniques of sponge (Genoise) and butter cakes including marble, brown butter and jelly roll.

Cake Baking: Basic Cakes II
Learn about molten chocolate cakes, flourless cakes and fruit-based cakes in this informative class.

Cake Decorating
Learn how to make decorating-quality butter cream frosting and how to prepare cakes for decorating. Then the fun starts with the actual decorating!

Canning and Preserving
Take advantage of the harvest by learning to can and preserve California’s bounty while it is fresh and inexpensive.

Chinese Favorites
Make a Chinese dinner of spring rolls, fried rice, chow mein, egg foo yung & broccoli beef.

Desserts: Chocolate Desserts
Do you love chocolate?…In this class, learn Molten chocolate sourdough cake, chocolate Brioche bread pudding, chocolate sorbet, truffles and more.

Desserts: Easy & Impressive Desserts
Desserts you can make quickly and present like you spent all day.

Desserts: Elegant Desserts
Learn to prepare and present desserts like a pastry chef that will make your family and friends say “Wow”!

Desserts: Fresh Fruit Desserts
Making the most of California’s summer fruit bounty. Learn semifreddo, buttermilk panna cotta with fresh fruit, rum topf, granita and refreshing fruit soups.

Dinner Party
Prepare a four-course dinner, each course paired with wine. Then set up for a dinner party for you and your classmates on the terrace.

Entertain with Ease
If you enjoy entertaining but find yourself trapped in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party, this class is for you. Learn some of the secrets of “mise en place ” or “preparation ahead” that will make your next party a pleasure for you as well as your guests.

Filipino Kitchen
Classic Filipino dishes: Adobo, Pancit, Lumpia, and Caldereta.

Fish & Shellfish
Choose the right fish for the right cooking and add the perfect sauce. Learn to shop for fish and how to properly store it.

Fondue is more than Swiss cheese! Come try these sweet and savory fondues.

French Bistro
Comfort foods of small neighborhood French restaurants.

Fundamental Series (Red Meat, Poultry I, Poultry II, Kitchen Tools)
The fundamentals series is exactly what the title implies. To be a good cook one must have a firm grasp of the fundamentals. This series of classes is structured in the fashion of a classic culinary school for professionals without the barking chefs. Join us in this step-by-step progression and cover in detail the fundamentals of knife skills, kitchen tools, stocks and soups, sauces, and basic cooking techniques.

Heart Healthy
Team taught by chef and doctor helps put the pleasure back in dining on a restricted diet.

Indian Feast I and II
This two-part series focuses on the spices and foods of India.

Lean and Tasty
The objective of this class is to dispel the belief that when you see “low-fat” on a menu or recipe you read “low-taste.” Dishes can be created to be flavorful and healthy when you have some of the secrets and tricks our chefs will share with you.

Leftover Magic
How do you turn what’s in your refrigerator into something new and exciting and not even close to what it was the day before…..let us show you how!

Mediterranean I
Focus on Spain — it’s spices and foods native to the country and its specialties including ever-popular paella.

Mediterranean II
Focus on Greece, its very flavorful cheeses, oils, olives and more. Learn the techniques and recipes of classic Greek dishes as well as country-style favorites.

Mediterranean III
This tour of the Mediterranean continues on to Northern Africa. Explore the recipes and dishes of Morocco and Egypt. The secrets to making great taboulhi, hummus, couscous, and much more.

One-Pot Meals
Just add salad and dessert to these one-pot meals that will warm and satisfy your family and simplify your life.

Pasta, Pasta
With or without a pasta machine, learn to make great pasta including ravioli. Learn to flavor your doughs and some great new fillings and sauces.

Picnic Classes: Gourmet Picnic
Learn what makes a picnic gourmet and the recipes. This class also focuses on what types of food can be safely transported and saved and which are no no’s for outdoor dining.

Pies and Tarts
The quest for the perfect crust ends with this class. Learn the secrets to making a great pie or tart dough and some terrific fillings to go along.

Pizza and Calzone
Everybody loves pizza! However, to do good pizza you’ve got to have the crust. First we’ll learn the secrets of some different crusts, then we’ll talk fillings. After this class, you’ll be able to cook pizza for a week creating a unique variety of different styles and flavors.

Polenta & Risotto
This class focuses on the cooking techniques of these popular grains and their versatility for use in every meal of the day and appetizers.

Poultry: Fundamentals of Poultry I
Learn how to select and properly store poultry before and after cooking. Learn how to avoid cross contamination when handling raw poultry. This class teaches how to bone, cook, serve, and store.

Poultry: Fundamentals of Poultry II
Expanding on the basic techniques and on to the many cooking techniques and recipes of chicken, turkey, and duck.

Red Meat: Fundamentals of Red Meat
This class focuses mainly on beef, identifying and choosing cuts. How to select meat. What the grading system for beef means to you. You will learn about cooking techniques and which are right for which cuts of beef.

Salad Series: Main Course Salads
These salads are substantial—some are light meals, some are hearty. Come find out why they call Monterey County “the salad bowl of the world”!

Sauces: Classic Sauces I
Teaches the five mother sauces of classic French cuisine and the basic techniques of sauce making, using rouxs and binding agents.

Sauces: Classic Sauces II
Teaches the derivatives of the classic mother sauces – including Béarnaise, Bordelaise, Robert, Chantilly, Newburg, and many more…

Sauce Series: Sauces & Dressings
Learn to make emulsified salad dressings, mole, aioli, and buerre blanc.

Soups and Stews
Soups and stews are perhaps the oldest style of cooking, which probably explains why they are so popular and satisfying. Practice the basic techniques needed to prepare soups and stews from all over the world to warm your soul and satisfy your hunger on a chilly winter eve.

Soups of the Pacific Rim
Learn about the ingredients and techniques to make Wor Won Ton, Sizzling Rice, Miso, Hot ‘N Sour and Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

South American Cuisine
This class features appetizers, soups, salad entrees, and desserts each from a different country in Central & South America.

Stir-Fry Menus
The technique of stir-fry is not just for Chinese and other Asian cuisines. In this class we will learn the fundamental techniques for successful stir-fry and how we can apply them to everyday cooking to make our dishes more flavorful and healthy!

Sushi Party
Sushi and sashimi are currently the trend. To make good sushi you need a few good ingredients and a couple of special techniques. Join us to find out what it takes to give a Sushi Party that everyone will be talking about.

Tailgate Party
This is “guy food” – appetizers, snacks, and main dishes that are substantial, spicy, sometimes messy, never dainty and always fit for a tailgate or Super Bowl party!

More than your traditional Mexican tamale, you will learn how to make other South American varieties of this popular favorite.

Tapas, Salsas & Dips
This appetizer course focuses on dishes with Latin flavor—some great for snacking and others substantial enough to be a meal.

Thai Cooking
Wonderful, spicy, flavorful Thai – Tom Kha Kai, Pad Thai, Panang Curry. Learn the ingredients and techniques to start you on your way to cooking your favorite Thai dishes.

Thirty-Minute Gourmet I and II
Having gourmet restaurant quality meals doesn’t always require hours over the stove. Join our chefs as they share some secrets and short cuts to preparing jazzy meals in thirty minutes or less.

Vegetarian Around the World
Vegetarian dishes can be found in every major cuisine of the world. Learn new seasonings and ingredients that will freshen your vegetarian repertoire.

Wine Classes: Cooking with Wine and Cheese & Wine Pairing
Learn the techniques needed to get great results when cooking with wine, which wines to use and how to pair them with your meal.