For the last two years, since the lousy economy drove me to Tallahassee, I have been attending an average of one class a week at the Tallahassee Aprons kitchen classes. This is a review.
If you are a beginner, you are going to learn a lot at these classes, which are very good at teaching you the basics: how to chop an onion or other vegetable"; general knife handling skills; hwo to peel vegetables and fruits quickly and easily; how to take apart a chicken with a minimum of muss and fuss; how to make a reduction sauce; how to make a sauce of almost any flavor, using a roux; how to cook vegetables and other ingredients which you have seen in the grocery store but have had no experience handling; how to truss a chicken; how to make sushi; what folding is and how to do it; how to cook a fish "en papillote", etc.
The classes are less helpful for intermediate and advanced students because that is not where the focus of most of the classes is. The problem is that when an intermediate class is held, getting enough students willing to attend is a problem. Hopefully, as more beginners become intermediates, the number of classes in this category will expand.
Generally, even if you are an intermediate or advanced cook, all the classes are fun and you get to eat what the class has cooked, as well as drink wine (or, if appropriate, beer) with the meal.
Classes generally start at 10:00 a.m. or 6:00 p.m. The classes run two to three hours and then you eat afterward. Classes generally run $40-$50 per session and typically cover one subject. Some classes are two to six sessions long, but there are much rarer.
The beginner classes are run constantly. The intermediate and advanced classes are offered much less often. Classes are categorized in different ways: by ethnicity; by cooking technique; by type of food, etc.
All in all, it is a lot of fun. I consider myself an intermediate to advanced cook, but, by necessity, most of the classes which I take are beginner classes and I still get a lot of fun of out them. I think that it is well worth the money. Invite a friend and try it out.