Brisbane Cooking Schools

By Mike O’Connor

I started cooking when I was 22. I also stopped cooking when I was 22. In fact I stopped on the same day I started after attempting to cook mince. I’d seen my mother do this in a saucepan so I put some mince in a saucepan, turned on the gas and wandered off.

On the bright side, the house didn’t burn down, thanks largely to the neighbours who called the fire brigade when they saw black smoke billowing out the kitchen window.

I took this as a sign from above that I should stop cooking and waited 30 years before giving it another go. I am now a graduate of the James Street Cooking School, one of the many fine such schools in Brisbane as the list below attests.

James St Cooking School

James Street Cooking School

Well established and drawing its name from the excellent fresh food markets on the same New Farm site. Wide range of classes – Middle Eastern, Modern Australian, Malaysian, Italian and more – which tend to book out. Also does kids' classes. Is there a class which also teaches kids to wash up? Apparently not.

Mondo Organics Cooking School

Grew out of the Mondo restaurant, with the emphasis on organic foods. Classes include Gluten and Dairy Free Cooking, Wholefoods, Italian Vegetarian and Eat Yourself to Good Health, Classic French and Modern Spanish.

Black Pearl Epicure

Another well-established school run in tandem with a fine food retail and wholesale operation, which is Australia's largest importer of caviar and saffron. Choose between demonstration classes allowing you to have a glass of wine while watching the chefs explain recipes and techniques, or small hands-on classes.

The Golden Pig

Located in a warehouse and fully licensed. Hands-on classes with a maximum of 16 students. Full range of classes from Italian Basics to Flavours of Spain and Portugal, Fast, Fun and furious Wok Cooking to Beer, Birds, Beef and Barbecue.

Spring Cooking School

Spring Cooking School

Born out of the popular Spring restaurant in the CBD. As well as mainstream classes, this school also offers subjects such as Nose to Tail Butchery Workshop, Sushi Making, Dude Food, a Chocolate Master Class and Single in the City classes where you may well pick up more than cooking tips. One never knows.

Cooking With Giovanna

This school takes a different approach and brings the class to your own kitchen with a minimum class size of four. All ingredients and most equipment are supplied.

Sadly, no one is yet offering a "How to Catch a Chook" class, a handy skill to have if, as happened to me, the oven rack on which the chicken is roasting has not been put in place correctly.

This caused the baking tray to tip, pouring fat onto the naked flame in the gas oven. The resultant blast sent me and the chook flying across the room. If I’d taken a chook-catching class, I would have caught it. As it was, it ended up on the lawn.

Eat your way around Brisbane