Cooking classes to help you prepare for Passover and Easter

After a career in food publishing in Manhattan,

After a career in food publishing in Manhattan, Jennifer Clair moved her family up to Beacon about six years ago and opened her very own cooking school called Home Cooking. A group of students in one of the classes is pictured here. (Credit: Handout)

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Are you planning on hosting an event for Passover or Easter but finding your kitchen skills not quite up to snuff? You still have time to hone your culinary prowess at cooking classes held throughout Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley.

From kitchen supply stores to Italian eateries, here are seven places where you can get instruction in Matzoh pizza, Easter desserts and more, with plenty of time to impress your guests.

CHEF CENTRAL IN HARTSDALE

This kitchen supply store offers classes for a variety of ages in everything from sushi to pasta-making all year long. But there are plenty of timely classes, too.

For Easter, there are a few remaining classes: Cooking for Kids 3-10: Easter Cookie Pops (4 p.m. Tuesday, March 26; $20) and Cooking for Kids 3-10: Bunny Houses (4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28; $25).

Info: 45. S Central Ave., Hartsdale; 914-328-1376; www.chefcentral.com

SUR LA TABLE IN WHITE PLAINS

This specialty kitchen store in The Westchester mall offers cooking instruction almost every day. Class subjects are often tied to popular cookbooks, but many are seasonal and holiday-inspired, including an upcoming class on Easter cupcakes (10 a.m. Saturday, March 30; $69 per person). At that class, students will learn to make egg and nest-topped vanilla cupcakes with nutella buttercream; carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and marzipan carrot decorations; and devil's food cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

Info: 125 Westchester Ave., space 2805A, White Plains; 800-243-0852, 914-220-9816; www.surlatable.com

MARCELLO'S RISTORANTE IN SUFFERN

Twenty-five year veteran chef and local culinary celebrity Marcello Russodivito offers two types of cooking classes at his Italian eatery -- one for lunch and another for dinner. The classes -- $50 per person plus tax and tip -- include three courses and coffee (wine is extra). Private classes are also available for eight or more.

Info: 21 Lafayette Ave., Suffern; 842-357-9108; www.marcellosgroup.com

HOME COOKING NEW YORK IN BEACON

After working in Manhattan's food publishing industry, Jennifer Clair moved her family up to Beacon about six years ago, where she opened a cooking school (she also has a new location in Chelsea). Clair and five other chefs offer classes that range from mastering the basics (20-Minute Meals, Food 101: What to Eat & How to Shop) to cuisine-focused lessons (Introduction to Thai, Northern Italian, etc.).

Each $70 two-hour class has a maximum of eight students and ends with a sit-down meal. Students are invited to bring wine, too. Clair also offers private classes -- $300 plus groceries for four people or $80 per person for a group of six or more. An upcoming class includes centers around the French Bistro (7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3).

Info: 418 Main St., Beacon; 917-803-6857; www.homecookingny.com

1850 HOUSE & TAVERN IN ROSENDALE

Famed chef John Novi of DePuy Canal House in High Falls teaches monthly cooking classes at this hotel and restaurant in Ulster County. The class is a whole-day affair, starting out with brunch, and then moving onto a lesson in knife skills and some real time in the kitchen. Groups of six to 10 prepare farm-to-table dishes using local meats and produce, which they'll end up enjoying as dinner.

The class is $250 per person and $400 as a package deal that includes overnight accommodations at the inn.

Info: 435 Main St., Rosendale; 845-658-7800; www.the1850house.com

LANTERNA IN NYACK

This Italian bistro, which specializes in the cuisine of Tuscany, holds cooking classes at 6:30 p.m. on one Tuesday each month. The $75 per person class includes a four-course meal (two appetizers, an entree and a dessert), a glass of wine with each course, and instruction from chef Rossano Giannini. Up to 30 or 40 people may take part in a class.

Info: 3 S. Broadway, Nyack; 845-353-8361; www.lanternausa.com

TASTE OF WESTCHESTER CLASSES AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

The Valhalla campus of Westchester Community College will introduce a newly renovated kitchen -- and a wide range of cooking classes -- this fall. But until then (and after), WCC will continue to offer a program called Taste of Westchester, with tours of some of the county's best restaurants and lessons from their chefs.

At 6 p.m. on Monday, March 25 students will learn how to make bestsellers from the menu of Hastings-on-Hudson's eco-friendly restaurant, Rainwater Grill. And at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, Le Fontane in Katonah will celebrate Easter Italian-style with Southern Italian classics like fresh pasta and homemade lamb ravioli.

Classes are $15 and additional sampling fees (around $25) apply; there's also a one-time registration fee of $8.25 per semester.

Info: 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla; 914-606-6830, press 1; www.sunywcc.edu/continuing_ed/courses/taste.htm

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