Nassau, Suffolk, North Shore, South Shore -- there's nowhere on Long Island that is very far from a cooking class. And the programs range from long-term certificate courses to one-night culinary stands, with everything from Colonial hearth cooking to cake-decorating in between.
Full-service recreational schools
A la Carte Culinary Services 32 Atlantic Ave. Lynbrook 516-599-2922 alacartecs.com
This homey, friendly storefront school offers a variety of courses, from "Flash in the Pan" Sauteing, Classic Pasta Sauces, and Cupcakes to Gluten-Free Bread Baking and Stews with Attitude. Individual classes range from 2 to 4 hours and cost about $100. Also offered are lots of classes for kids and teens, as well as private lessons.
Viking Cooking School at Loaves and Fishes Cookshop 835 Franklin Ave. Garden City 516-877-1010 vikinghomechef.com (Click on "classes" and scroll down to the list of schools)
Formerly owned by Viking, this spacious facility has been taken over by Bridgehampton's Loaves and Fishes Cookshop (hence the inelegant name). During a recent "Big Easy Hors d'Oeuvres" class taught by Michael DeLillo, students cooked their way through shrimp rémoulade, hot crab-and-artichoke dip and crawfish étouffée. Other classes include Basic Knife Skills ($69), Cheese 101 ($99), Sustainable Meats Workshop and Teens One-Day Culinary Basics (both $109).
Viking Cooking School at the Bridgehampton Inn 2266 Main St. Bridgehampton 631-537-3586 www.landfcookshop.com
The cooking-school arm of Bridgehampton's Loaves and Fishes Cookshop (and Sagaponack's gourmet takeout shop). Classes are held at the Bridgehampton Inn. Curriculum is similar, but smaller, than at the Garden City location.
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center of Suffolk County Community College 20 E. Main St. Riverhead 631-451-4114 www3.sunysuffolk.edu/ContinuingEd/
In addition to its credited degree program in culinary arts, the gleaming new professional kitchens the Riverhead campus of SCCC offers continuing-education classes to folks who just like to cook. The one-session classes usually last two to three hours and cost from $39 to $72.
Alice Ross Hearth Studios 15 Prospect St. Smithtown 631-265-9335
Food historian Alice Roth presides over a unique cooking school in a restored carriage house. Instead of spanking-new gas ranges and wall ovens, there's a Victorian wood stove, an outdoor wood-fired brick bake oven, a hand-operated water pump and 10-foot open hearth, a replica of a model built in 1706. The curriculum includes Basic Hearth Cooking, Early American Cookery, Long Island Traditions, Game Cookery, as well as How to Build and Use a Traditional Bake Oven. Classes last six to seven hours, and cost $150 to $400 depending on how many people are in a class (usually four to five).
The Chocolate Duck 318 Main St. Farmingdale 516-249-0887 chocolateduck.com
This baking and candy-making supply store -- one of the best in the metropolitan region -- gives small classes in all facets of the confectionary arts. Although most of the classes last three to six sessions -- among them Cake Decorating (3 sessions, $95), Chocolate Molding and Candy Making (3 sessions, $150), and Gumpaste Ornaments (4 sessions, $375) -- The Duck also offers a five-hour Sunday Cookie Class ($125).
Sprinkles 230 Montauk Hwy. Speonk 631-801-2606 sweetartsupplies.com
Sprinkles, a charming cookware shop that specializes in cake-decorating supplies, offers classes in cake-decorating and candy-making. Introduction to Cake Decorating and Fondant Workshop are both $20. The shop also periodically holds free wedding-cake construction demonstrations.
New York Institute of Technology-Culinary Arts Center 300 Carleton Ave. Central Islip 631-348-3290 http://iris.nyit.edu/culinary
NYIT does not give recreational cooking classes, but if you are considering a career change, the school offers two 500-hour, 14-course certificate programs, Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts, both taught by experienced chefs who have trained at restaurants and institutions throughout the world.
Culinary Academy of Long Island 125 Michael Dr. Syosset 516-364-4344 culinaryacademy.edu
The 12-year-old school recently moved from Westbury to a new facility in Syosset. Although it is principally a professional school -- programs include Professional Cooking (900 hours), Commercial Cooking (600 hours), Professional Pastry and Baking (600 hours), and Hotel and Restaurant Management (900 hours) -- CALI offers a 13-week Saturday baking course for serious amateurs.
Many towns and villages offer cooking courses; Great Neck's are among the most well-regarded.
Nassau BOCES-Adult Evening program Barry Tech 1196 Prospect Ave. Westbury 516-622-6950 http://aep.adultednassau.org/index2.jsp
Commercial Culinary Techniques is geared toward serious amateurs or those considering a career in cooking. Evening classes meet twice a week for nine weeks. Topics include soups, stocks, sauces, poaching, roasting, braising, sauteing, meats, fish, eggs, poultry, vegetables, knife skills and management. $590 for 36 hours.
Western Suffolk BOCES 631-667-6000, ext. 320 wilsontech.org/adults.cfm
Manor Plains High School (200 Little Plains Rd.) in Huntington holds "Little Bites" demonstration nights. The two-session courses cost $59 and include Low-Carb Cooking, 45-Minute Meals, and Healthy Mediterranean Cooking. Wilson Tech in Dix Hills offers more in-depth hands-on courses, including Basic Bread Making, Cakes and Tarts (both three sessions, $155), an eight-session course in Latin and Caribbean cooking ($235), and Introduction to Professional Culinary Arts and Catering (14 classes, $395).
Eastern Suffolk BOCES Oakdale, Bellport, Riverhead campuses 631-286-6585 esboces.org
The various BOCES campuses offer various programs, for example: pre-professional evening courses in Commercial Cooking (32 classes for $1495), and Pastry Arts and Baking (21 classes for $895). For amateurs, BOCES offers five 5-class courses, each for $199: Basic Baking Sampler, Latest Trends in Catering, Cooking Basics for Everyone, Italian Cooking and Main-Course Cooking.
Many of the institutions listed previously offer classes for children. Here are two kid-only schools.
Kitchen Time's Party Place 691 Broadway Massapequa 516-795-4980 kitchentime.net
Little Chefs littlechefs.com
Soundview Marketplace Port Washington 516-767-7633
33 Jackson Ave. Syosset 516-496-0754
In the City
Manhattan is home to dozens of cooking schools, large and small. For a complete list, visit cookingschools.com . Two of the largest are ICE and the FCI.
ICE: Institute for Culinary Education 50 W. 23rd St. Manhattan 212-847-0700 iceculinary.com
Founded in 1975 by the late Peter Kump, the school offers six- to 11-month career training programs in culinary arts, pastry and baking, and culinary management. ICE also runs the largest program of hands-on recreational cooking and baking classes in the country.
The International Culinary Center 462 Broadway Manhattan 888-324-2433 internationalculinarycenter.com
The International Culinary Center is the newly formed umbrella institution that not only comprises the French Culinary Institute (called the FCI), but also an Italian studies program and courses in food writing and more.