Summer School Fun: Cooking Classes & Camps

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Lists Issue: May 2016
Group Free

Photo courtesy Classic Cooking AcademyIf you’re looking for something fun to do indoors this summer to escape the inferno that is Phoenix, why not sharpen your cooking skills? There are cooking camps for kids and teens, classes for adults, and sampling for everyone. Here are five learning opportunities to help you expand your culinary chops.

Classic Cooking Academy
10411 E. McDowell Mountain Ranch Rd., Scottsdale
During June and July, Classic Cooking Academy will offer three-day cooking classes for kids (ages 8-12) and teens (ages 13-17). Classes meet Monday-Wednesday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for the younger set; and from 2-4 p.m. for the teens. Classes will focus on basic and advanced culinary techniques, knife skills and etiquette. Each day will have a different theme, from baking and homemade pasta dough to risotto and French cooking. To view menus, go to the calendar on the website listed above. Cost: $100 per three-day session.

Scottsdale Community College Culinary Arts
9000 E. Chaparral Rd., Scottsdale
Scottsdale Community College's Culinary Arts program will offer non-credit cooking and cake decorating classes this summer in the college’s 10,000-square-foot teaching kitchen. You can take beginning cake decorating; barbecue and butchering; healthy cooking of Southeast Asia; and a Kids Cooking Camp for ages 8-13. Most classes last one to two weeks and begin on June 6. Tuition ranges from $125 for the kids' cooking camp to $225 for healthy cooking of Southeast Asia and barbecue and butchering. For more information, visit

Sur La Table
Locations at Kierland and Scottsdale Fashion Square
This well-stocked kitchen store offers a fun selection of summer classes for kids and teens. Kitchen Fundamentals for Kids is a five-day series where kids learn essential cooking skills, knife skills and sauce basics, different cooking techniques and how to make pasta and desserts. On the final day, students will participate in a mystery box challenge and get a chance to try out their budding culinary skills. in July and August, Sur La Table will offer Science in the Kitchen for Kids, a five-day class where kids will learn everything from the science of taste to chemical reactions in baking, culminating in a team challenge. They will also offer Healthy Kids, Healthy Planet, where young chefs will learn how to prepare healthy foods and learn about cuisines from different cultures. Cost: $250 per each weeklong class. Check the website for dates and locations.

Sweet Basil
10749 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale
Sweet Basil offers hands-on cooking classes for kids and teens June through August, taught by professional chefs. Kids will learn how to make a variety of dishes and then get to eat the fruits of their labor. Classes meet Monday through Friday – kids in the morning, teens in the afternoon. Each day there’s a different culinary theme, and class attendees get to take home the recipes. Classes fill up quickly and cost $250 for the week.

Zappone’s Italian Bistro
1652 N. Higley Rd., Gilbert
For a taste of Italy, sign up for the Summer in Tuscany cooking class at Zappone’s Italian Bistro at noon on Saturday, June 11. You’ll learn to make panzanella, a Tuscan bread salad with tomatoes, egg and other fresh vegetables and balsamic vinegar reduction dressing; spinach and ricotta ravioli with vodka sauce; Tuscan roasted whole chicken with fennel, garlic, rosemary and citrus; Tuscan roasted potatoes; and limoncello tiramisu. The cost for the class is $44 per person and includes lunch, a non-alcoholic beverage and all the recipes. Sign up soon because space is limited.