What To Expect From A Sur La Table Cooking Class

  Dec 2, 2016  |  #Charlotte

Happy Friday! We made it through the week, and I can’t wait to share my experience at a Sur la table cooking class, and what you can expect!

As you can probably guess, I like to cook but I am by no means an expert of any kind. I feel like I still have so much to learn (hello EXPERIMENTING).

I love watching cooking shows and reading, but I truly feel like the best way to learn is through hands on experience.

So, when Chef Robyn from Sur La Table invited me in for a cooking class a few weeks ago, I jumped at the opportunity! It was actually my first time in the store as well, which is beautiful. It reminded me of Williams and Sonoma and Crate and Barrel, but specifically kitchen based.

Sur la Table

Sur la Table

Cooking classes are a great way to interact with other people, learn new and different techniques for preparation and cooking, get guidance from certified chefs, master new cuisines and try food!

I can’t think of any reasons NOT to go.

What Should You Wear to Sur La Table Cooking Classes?

I would recommend wearing comfortable closed toe shoes because you may be dealing with hot sauces and ingredients, and you don’t want to drop anything and burn yourself.

You will also be wearing an apron.

Lastly, make sure to pull your hair back, especially if you have long hair – that’s a common food safety measure to prevent any hair from falling in the food. 

Your Cooking Class Will Always Have a Theme

They show these themes online through the website. Look for a list of sur la table locations and then once you locate your local store, you can see some of their local events and themes. 

My Sur La Table class was focused on Thai Cooking. Ed and I love pad thai, but I’ve always been a bit intimidated to cook it at home. This class was so helpful for so many reasons.

Thai favorites, Sur la Table Cooking Class


Your Theme Will Then Be Broken Down Into Different Courses

Since our theme was thai food, it was then further broken down into an appetizer, entree and dessert.

This is great to give you plenty of ideas for cooking within your cuisine. 


Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup

We started with a thai pumpkin curry soup. I wish I could eat this every day! I may have to figure out how to add a thai twist to my pumpkin crockpot chili

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Spicy Beef Salad with Cucumber and Mint

Next up, we made a small salad with bibb lettuce leaves. Chef Robyn marinated the beef, and we paired it with cucumber and mint, for a refreshing flavor combination. 

Spicy Beef, Sur la Table

Perfect Pad Thai (made with tofu)

For our main meal, we made a perfect pad thai with tofu. You could also use chicken, but I liked that we used tofu because I’m always open to new methods for cooking with tofu. 


Forbidden Coconut Mango Rice Pudding

The whole class took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, with a 15 minute break thrown in there. Here are some of the many things I learned and enjoyed!

Expect to make 3-5 courses, and eat them too!

Some of the prep work will be done ahead of time (i.e. some sauces heating up, vegetables pre chopped) to speed up the process.

But, you’ll learn about preparing each dish and have a task assigned to you. You get to keep the recipes and in some cases, take extra food home!

You definitely won’t leave hungry. 

You’ll learn from (and eat from) certified chefs

There were so many useful preparation and cooking tips thrown out during our class.

For example:

  • Kosher salt dissolves better than regular salt
  • The best way to peel ginger is with a spoon (so you don’t lose the flesh)
  • Reducing a sauce helps thicken it and increase flavor

Throughout the class, Chef Robyn also talked about the best oils for high cooking, the difference between different cuts and slices of meat, how to cook tofu properly, and how to utilize thai spices for flavor.

I use her tips when I cook tofu and tempeh in my different macro bowls. 

I left much more confident about cooking thai food than when I came in!

Knife skills are important

They even have a sur la table knife sharpening and knife skills class, which may have to be my next endeavor.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cut myself.

You use ingredients you can find in markets

This is important and practical!

They don’t want you to go home feeling confused about where to find ingredients. They try to make it as easy as possible!

Sur la Table cooking class

You’ll hear, “Mise en place” over and over again and keep practicing it!

Mise en place is a French culinary phrase that translates to “everything in place.” Basically, it’s the idea of arranging and organizing ingredients before cooking.

It makes the set up and cooking process much more efficient, and I now always utilize it when I do my weekly meal prep. 

Without having things put in place and organized, we wouldn’t have been able to make 5 courses in 3 hours.

Mise en place, Sur la Table Sur la Table

You don’t have to do dishes!

This is probably my favorite part. Yummy food, learning things, and no dishes!

Thanks, Sur La Table, for taking care of that for me. 

Sur la Table

My last takeaway: Cooking is FUN!

While the final product is important, it’s also about the experience.

Sometimes it’s fun to cook with others. Other times, it’s fun to zone out and destress by yourself in the kitchen.

I actually enjoy cooking and don’t see it as a hassle or dreadful experience. I can be short on time sometimes, but I still love the idea of preparing food for my family. It just makes me feel good.

Mise en place, Sur la Table

It’s apparent to me that you can never learn everything when it comes to cooking!

Also, you get a nice discount to shop in the store after taking a class, so if you’re looking for some certain kitchen appliances, that’s a great way to save some money or shop for your sur la table wedding registry. 

Thank you Sur La Table for having me in. I was not compensated to write this post, and as always, these are my opinions and experiences.

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Did you enjoy it? Thoughts?

23 responses to “What To Expect From A Sur La Table Cooking Class

  1. I really have time to go all out when I cook my daily meals but I love taking cooking classes when I can! It’s nice to have a few tricks up your sleeve when you’re expecting company at home. I’ve taken a French class and Thai cooking class is next on my list!

  2. I saw a Sur la Table store in Portland for the first time and loved looking at their list of cooking classes available! So many to choose from. I’ve taken a few classes from a local place here and have been thankful the classes are 4 hours long – more time to eat ALL the food! Haha. Taking a Thai or Indian cooking class is on my list of things to do this winter.

  3. I have ALWAYS wondered what a Sur la table class was like, so thanks for sharing because it’s super informative!!!!! Now I have to go get myself signed up for one 🙂

  4. This is definitely on my bucket list- I love watching videos of people sharing cooking techniques, so I know that I’d really enjoy doing this. Food labs were some of my favorite classes in grad school. I just love cooking.

  5. This looks like so much fun; it’s amazing that God made us to continually be learning more; there’s so much to learn about cooking that I haven’t even scratched the surface. I didn’t know that fact about reducing sauces or about peeling ginger with a spoon or about Kosher salt dissolving better than normal salt.

  6. Cool!! I’m glad you got to do this! I learned how to make real authentic pad thai from my travels in Thailand – I didn’t take a class but just learned from watching on the street and talking to locals. Its a bit of a lengthy prep process and you need to work really really fast, but oh man is it sooo much better than any americanized version. I love learning about those little tips and tricks from chefs – its amazing how such small things can make such a difference to either taste or ease of preparation. I’ve learned a lot of little tricks from Gordan Ramsey on line videos, aha. I’d love to know how to better prepare tofu, though…

    1. I’m not sure anything could compare to Thailand! That’s so neat that you just learned through watching on the street – that is certainly the most authentic way. Small tips are great – I need to keep picking up these nuggets of wisdom to make my kitchen experience more efficient. I’m gaining more and more confidence with tofu!

  7. This is actually something I’ve always wanted to do! Looks like it lives up to my expectations! Can you look ahead and choose the menu that most appeals to you to sign up for that or did you find out it would be thai food once you got there?

    1. Since you love cooking, you should absolutely go, Heather! You get to choose the class/menu that appeals to you most. They show you the options online so you can pick the date/topic you like 🙂

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