Cooking with Class

Brush up your holiday cooking chops

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Time to hit the cookbooks. Photo Credit: Caroline Atwood

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to brush up on those culinary skills. Here are some opportunities around the county to learn how to create a healthy and delicious holiday spread, discover gluten-free baking or impress out-of-town guests with homemade fire cider.

Cheryl Forberg—registered dietitian, cookbook author and one-time private chef to filmmaker George Lucas—will be at Fresh Starts in Novato to teach guests how to prepare a signature holiday menu. This will consist of watercress and cranberry salad, turkey roulade and pumpkin flan. Added bonus; the program supports the important programming offered by Homeward Bound of Marin.

6:30pm, Thursday, Nov. 7, Fresh Starts Chef Events, The Key Room, 1385 N. Hamilton Parkway, Novato. $65 per person. 415.382.3363 x213.

Celebrated Southern chef Sean Brock is coming to Insalata’s Restaurant in San Anselmo for a Cooks with Books event. Local chef/restaurateur Heidi Krahling will host the Southern Food crusader at her restaurant and prepare recipes from his book South, which features Southern staples from grits and fried chicken to collard greens, biscuits and cornbread.

6:30pm, Sunday, Nov. 10, Insalata’s Restaurant, 120 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo. Tickets are $125 per person, $200 per couple (includes meal & book). www.bookpassage.com/brock.

Driver’s Market in Sausalito is one of the sweetest neighborhood stores in Marin. The community-driven retailer features monthly Around the Table workshops that offer everything from nutrition tips to food policy discussions to how-to culinary instruction. Coming up later in November is a Fire Cider Workshop that will include your own batch to take home.

7pm, Thursday, Nov. 21, Driver’s Market, 200 Caledonia Street, Sausalito. Tickets are $25. www.driversmarket.com.

You need not travel far to experience the most beautiful cooking school in the Bay Area. The Cavallo Point Lodge teaches students everything from Cuban cooking to basic knife skills to how to prepare celebratory holiday meals in its spacious, bright and cheery kitchen. If you are ready to step up your culinary game, check out their upcoming Classic French Cuisine class and learn how to make Haricot Amandine, Poisson Meuniere, Crème Debary and more.

6:30pm, Friday, Nov. 22,, Cavallo Point Lodge, 601 Murray Circle, Sausalito. $110 per person. www.cavallopoint.com.

The always-sold-out Point Reyes Farmstead’s Fork still has room in its upcoming Gluten-Free Baking class. Learn how to make both savory and sweet gluten-free recipes in an interactive, hands-on class. The program also includes a walking tour of the farm and a family-style lunch.

10am, Friday, Dec. 13. Tickets are $105. www.pointreyescheese.com.

It’s never too early to start with the holiday shopping, and here’s a good idea for the foodie on your list. Marin resident and food writer Kevin Alexander’s book, Burn the Ice: The American Culinary Revolution and Its End, chronicles the rise and popularity of chefs, bartenders, food television and much more. The book is available at Book Passage and Amazon.

Finally, this suggestion doesn’t even require leaving the comfort of your home. Petaluma resident and longtime host of Check, Please! Bay Area (now in its 14th season), Leslie Sbrocco, has launched a new PBS television series titled 100 Days, Drinks & Destinations. She travels to unexpected locations and unearths equally unexpected treasures. Check your local PBS station for listings.

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