I’m not often quick to admit this, but even with a year of being stuck in the house, quarantine did not turn me into a culinary pro and I can still only semi-confidently make maybe three dishes.

I am someone that benefits greatly from a good old-fashioned cooking class. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Maine doesn’t actually offer a whole lot of hands-on tutorials in the kitchen, and if you can find one, they tend to be pretty expensive.

Most cooking classes in the state are demonstrational, and even though I love eating and sampling the food, it’s harder to learn when you’re just watching.

So, whether you grew up with grandma teaching you family recipes, or you’ve never touched a stove in your life, I’ve found these classes that offer true hands-on courses for any foodie to enjoy.

The Black Tie Company

Located right in the center of town in Portland, The Black Tie Company offers both hands-on and demonstration cooking classes for all levels of cooks right inside of a professional kitchen. Get the most out of your class with an intimate setting of 12 people max so you can have one-on-one time with the chef and teachers if you need assistance. Classes are fairly priced at $65 per person and include a demonstration, hands-on learning, beverages, recipes, and of course, food sampling. Come hungry!


Bravo Maine!

A fresh face in Portland, Bravo Maine! is a great option for a comprehensive hands-on course. Both the classes and menu are small and intimate in order to provide a full learning experience with ingredients and recipes made completely from scratch, including the baguettes!

Their new location is on Brighton Ave. and offers a communal space for cooking, learning, and dining. Take a class to learn how to master the art of sushi or pasta making among other dishes while using ingredients and vegetables fresh from a local farm. Check out their schedule here, they book up fast!

Salt Water Farm

Overlooking Maine’s Penobscot Bay, Salt Water Farm provides hands-on classes as well as comprehensive and intensive workshops using fresh ingredients from their vegetable and herb gardens. Classes range from pasta, to pies, breads, fish, and more. It’s a scenic drive from Portland, and their reviews boast positive experiences with people dying to go back.

It seems like Maine really loves its demonstration classes, but these are great options for those who want to get their hand dirty, and for people like me who learn better doing it themselves. I need all the help I can get, so one of these classes may be in my near future.

This list isn’t comprehensive and I’m sure there are others out there that will allow you to dive right in and cook with the instructors. Do you know of any others? I’d love to hear about them!

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