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Ramekins, located just a few blocks from Sonoma's historic square, captures "the essence of Wine Country" with food, wine and "good company." The inn/event space/culinary school is a popular spot for weddings, as well as cooking classes. Demonstration classes for groups, such as "creating the perfect pizza," "South American street foods," and "French Countryside," is one option, or you could try hands-on sushi and tapas workshops (and more). Private cooking classes can be booked for 10 participants or more (starting at $140 per person). (Photo by Will Bucquoy)
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Relish Culinary Adventures hosts group and private cooking classes at their culinary center in downtown Healdsburg and at a variety of Wine Country locations, including vineyards, farms, wineries and private homes. Upcoming cooking events include a hands-on cooking class with legendary chef John Ash at Dry Creek Peach and Produce in Healdsburg ($199), and a Farmers' Market-to-Pizza Party. (Photo by Crista Jeremiason)
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Chef, caterer and award-winning cheesemaker Sheana Davis has been sharing her cheesemaking skills with Sonoma and Napa locals and visitors for the past 20 years. Her monthly hands-on classes at The General's Daughter in Sonoma teach participants how to craft fresh, warm ricotta cheese that is ready to serve and enjoy within 90 minutes. Classes begin with a tasting of local wines and artisanal cheese.
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Market, cafe and community gathering space Healdsburg SHED offers educational classes and workshops on a variety of topics, from practical gardening tips in the "Grow Your Own" series to seasonal produce guides in "Eat Good Food," to canning, pickling, jam-making, and fermentation in "Preserve the Season." Class participants can also get a behind-the-scenes look at SHED's relationships with local farmers, artists, chefs, and crafters in the event series "Meet the Makers." (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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Tangy lemon goat's milk ice cream made by Maria de Corpo of Real Cool Frozen Treats at SHED in Healdsburg. (Photo by Alvin Jornada)
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A bowl of homemade ramen soup topped with sliced pork belly, bok choy, maitake mushrooms, scallions, chives, nori (dried seaweed), an yuzu wedge, and sesame seeds, at a ramen workshop at SHED in Healdsburg. (Photo by Beth Schlanker)
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Both Sur la Table in Santa Rosa and Williams Sonoma in Sonoma host ongoing and seasonal cooking classes tailored for a range of events, from date nights to kids’ birthday parties. (Photo by Kent Porter)
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Food and Farm Tours, operated by three women with a lot of food know-how, offers an immersive Sonoma County culinary experience with their farm-to-table class. Participants (groups of 8-20 guests) start the day sampling fresh pastries at Red Bird Bakery in Santa Rosa. Next, they'll learn about cheesemaking at Tomales Farmstead Creamery, harvest vegetables at Glennhill Farm & Gardens, and pet the baby water buffalo at Double 8 Dairy. They'll sample Sonoma and Marin cheeses, sip on wine from a sustainable Sonoma County vintner, and finally enjoy a cooking class and gourmet meal at Grow Kitchen in Sebastopol.
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If you'd like to take a class at one of the best culinary schools in the world, look no further than the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley. CIA's two California campuses are located here: CIA at Greystone in St. Helena and CIA at Copia in downtown Napa. In addition to training the next top chefs, both campuses offer cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes for food enthusiasts and amateur chefs of all levels. The class schedule offers a trip around the world: from Asian fusion favorites to "Mangia Italiano." Culinary "boot camps" and wine and beverage classes are available too.
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For corporate team building events, check out the Silverado Cooking School in Napa Valley. Participants will work in teams to prepare a four-course meal over a four-hour period - each event is custom tailored. Would you like to know who of your colleagues has the most discerning palate or nose? Chef Malcolm de Sieyes will put together a wine tasting experience to complement your menu and give connoisseurs an opportunity to boast about their abilities.
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As harvest begins, fall flavors take over menus in Napa Valley. Cakebread Winery in Rutherford hosts seasonal cooking classes that focus on pairing fresh food with wine. This November, they are pairing Pinot Noir with mushrooms, followed by Dungeness crab and Chardonnay following the start of crab season just before Thanksgiving.
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Upcoming Wine Country events that feature cooking classes: The annual Heirloom Expo is coming to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa this September, featuring Kids’ Educational Classes and speakers from Bauman College and the Veggie Queen. If you're looking for an opportunity to please your belly, head to the Fermentation Festival. This annual event includes interactive classes and tastings of craft beer, sauerkraut, and everything pickled. (Photo by John Burgess)
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