The holidays remind us how much we all love well-cooked, well-prepared and well-thought out meals.

They can also remind us of where our entertaining skill set is lacking.

So maybe now, with Thanksgiving over and Christmas looming, is the time to think about improving your cooking and food preparation with a class. In the coming weeks, area stores, restaurants and cooking instructors are offering a wide variety of classes and demos in many aspects of entertaining, from croissant baking and sushi-making to mixology – and even how to make an Italian pasta dinner from scratch. There are also kids’ cooking classes, so you can have the youngsters in the family take on some of the kitchen duties.

Here are some of the classes and demos offered in southern Maine in the coming weeks. Some sell out quick, so we’ve included some January classes as well.


Now You’re Cooking, a cookware store on Front Street in Bath, is a place to get in the entertaining spirit, with a free cider tasting on Friday from 3-5 p.m. You get to taste a selection of ciders from Eve’s Cidery in upstate New York, which will help you surprise guests with your cider knowledge when you serve some over the holidays. The store will also host a free cookie decorating drop-in session Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, where people can watch cookies being decorated and then work on one of their own.


Other upcoming classes at the store include: Maple Southern Chess Pie with Rachel Lemieux of Hankering Pie Co. on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.; making ramen with cookbook author Chris Toy on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.; and an oyster-shucking class with Maine Oyster Co. on Jan. 7.  The cost for each class is $65. For more information and more classes scheduled into 2024, go to

Cookbook author Chris Toy will give a ramen cooking class at Now You’re Cooking in Bath on Dec. 6. Photo courtesy of Now You’re Cooking


Get the kids ready to take over some kitchen duties in the new year with a kids’ cooking class, taught by 2Gether Private Chefs at the Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine in Portland. There’s a class in Asian cuisine on Jan. 16 that includes rolling sushi and making fried rice, a Middle Eastern cooking lesson on Jan. 17 with couscous and falafel wraps, and Mexican food on Jan. 18, including tacos and guacamole. The $45 classes are broken down by grade level and held several times on those dates. For more information, go to

Kids’ cooking classes hosted by 2Gether Private Chefs in Portland are slated for January. Photo courtesy of 2Gether Private Chefs


Going out for sushi is fun, but how impressed would people be if they came to your home and ate sushi you made yourself?  Chef Alex Herzog of Great Wave Sushi can teach you how to roll your own at various locations and times around southern Maine. There’s a Sushi 101 class on Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Three of Strong Spirits distillery on Diamond Street in Portland. There’s also one at Westbrook Community Center on Dec. 18. If those classes fill up, there’s another one scheduled for Westbrook Community Center on Jan. 8. The cost for the two-hour class ranges from $70 to $78. For more information and more classes, go to

Great Wave Sushi has upcoming sushi-making classes in Portland and Westbrook. Photo courtesy of Great Wave Sushi



To make a proper toast to the holiday season, you need to make a proper cocktail. Vena’s Fizz House is offering some classes on that very topic. On Dec. 9, there’s a Back to the Classics class at Bow Street Beverage in Portland, with a focus on the Old Fashioned and the Martini. On Dec. 15, Venas’s will hold a Class of Christmas Past at Blind Tiger in Portland, where people can learn to make an Ebenezer Old Fashioned and a Tiny Tim Toddy. Each class is $75. For more information, go to

There are also Winter Mixology classes at Earth At Hidden Pond, a restaurant in Kennebunkport, on Saturday and Dec. 9. You’ll learn about infusing liquors with farm fresh ingredients and prepare classic cocktails. Tickets are from $75 and include four cocktail tastings. For more information, go to

Winter mixology class are scheduled at Earth in Kennebunkport. Photo courtesy of Earth at Hidden Pond


Impress your party guests with a really first-class cheese plate, and we’re not talking about a plate made out of Kraft American cheese slices. You can take a Cheese 101 class at the Cheese Shop of Portland on Sunday from 5:30-7 p.m. You’ll learn about cheesemaking, cheese history, cheese tasting, and cheese and beverage pairings. The $65 price includes a cheese course, accompaniments and beverage pairings. For more information, go to

Take a Cheese 101 class Dec. 3 at The Cheese Shop of Portland. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


Bravo Maine! in Portland offers people a night out while also teaching them how to cook. Date Night cooking lessons include a Jan. 3 lobster ravioli class, where people learn to make the dish, then eat it for dinner. The cost is $180 for two people. There are also nights featuring Boeuf Bourguignon, Beef Wellington, and sushi, plus a class on making pasta and Italian sauce from scratch. For more information and other classes, go to

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