Instead of a shopping list full of sweaters and trinkets, why not share the joy of cooking with friends and family this holiday season? The experience will last far longer than those typical go-to gifts, and as their official taste-tester you might even benefit from your loved ones' newfound skills.

Instead of a shopping list full of sweaters and trinkets, why not share the joy of cooking with friends and family this holiday season? The experience will last far longer than those typical go-to gifts, and as their official taste-tester you might even benefit from your loved ones' newfound skills.

To help you pair the recipient to the right class, we've rounded up a variety of local venues and highlighted courses available this season. All also offer gift certificates, giving your friend or family member the option to choose their own culinary adventure.


For the aspiring gourmand: ?The Seasoned Farmhouse

Nestled in a charming and homey environment, the Seasoned Farmhouse features a cookbook library and retail space with local wares and cooking tools. With more than 40 new classes each season, it offers a wide range of options, from individual classes focused on cuisines, cookbooks or seasonal ingredients to a 30-week, in-depth culinary program for the home cook.

Look for classics such as a night of French cooking featuring beef bourguignon, a savory pies class (from shepherd's pie to pot pie) or a technique class on cooking in parchment, alongside modern topics such as healthy casseroles and winter one-tray meals, where you'll learn to prepare three complete meals in under 30 minutes.

Sneak preview: The Seasoned Farmhouse's sister concept, Flowers & Bread, is slated to open this winter and will also offer classes on breadmaking as well as home decor topics like floral arrangement.

The Seasoned Farmhouse,3674 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-230-6281,theseasonedfarmhouse.com

Flowers & Bread,3870 N. High St., Clintonville,flowersandbread.com


For the kid in your kitchen: Sur la Table

A go-to destination for kitchen equipment, this Easton shop welcomes home cooks in a super accessible, not intimidating and, most importantly, fun atmosphere. Adult-focused classes include Holiday Tamales, Sushi Party and A Taste of New Orleans.

It also invites curious kid cooks to join mom and dad, with family fun classes such as Sweet Holiday Gifts. New this year are the first ever five-day kids and teens camps. These are focused, two-hours-per-day courses hosted during the school year's holiday break from Dec. 19–30. Students will learn fundamentals such as basic knife skills, recipe reading and the importance of kitchen safety, which they will then put into practice with daily theme-oriented cooking, including Mexican, Italian, Asian and American cuisines, culminating sweetly with a chocolate workshop.

Sur La Table,3990 New Bond St., Easton, 614-473-1211,stores.surlatable.com


For the chef wannabe: The Commissary

Serving as a small business incubator as well as a community gathering space, the Commissary is a hub for both food professionals and enthusiasts, uniting the two with classes taught by experts instead of instructors.

Local talents such as pastry chef Aaron Clouse, Matija Breads owner Matt Swint and Helen Jiao of Helen's Asian Kitchen teach technique and cuisines including French, South African, Indian, Thai, Peruvian and Chinese.

Leveraging a commercial kitchen space, these hands-on classes range from introductory to advanced, with opportunities to try out modernist cooking techniques and specialized equipment like sous vide machines and handheld smoking guns.

The Commissary,1400 Dublin Rd., West Side, 614-636-3164,thecommissarycolumbus.com


For bakers and pizza makers: Le Gateau

Famous for her wedding cakes, Sue Larson started hosting cooking classes in 2010 after commissioning her husband Mark to build a wood-fired pizza oven next to their Westerville home. Furthering the family affair, son Chris Larson, a chef at New Albany Country Club, joins Sue to host pizza-making classes that include an education on flour types, cooking surfaces and knife skills.

Other seasonal offerings take advantage of the high-heat oven including a bread and soup class, and classes on baking cookies, pies, tarts and galettes.

Sue's upbringing on an upstate New York dairy farm and two degrees in art assure her approach is always fresh and committed to quality, flavor and creativity, whether in a beautiful dessert or the perfect personalized pizza.

Le Gateau,7978 State Rt. 605 S, Westerville, 614-939-1930,legateau.net


For the focused foodie: ?Franklin Park Conservatory

Known more for its gorgeous grounds and much-loved exhibits such as Blooms & Butterflies and Merry & Bright, Franklin Park Conservatory's mission is actually one of education-including culinary education. Here you can find both hands-on and presentation-only classes led by Franklin Park's dedicated culinary staff or local chefs who are chosen for not only their passion for food, but their teaching ability.

Classes take place either in a charming cottage setting or early 1800s barn, with subjects including Scandinavian Holiday and International Soups & Stews, or diet-specific classes like New Year, New You (focused on vegan cooking) and Everyone Deserves a Treat: Gluten-Free. The bonus? Many classes include alcohol pairings and Franklin Park members receive a discount on the already very competitive pricing.

Franklin Park Conservatory,1777 E. Broad St., East Side,614-715-8000,fpconservatory.org