Want to surprise your holiday party guests with elegantly prepared foods or shock them that you can cook at all?
Then head to one of these cooking classes, where you can learn how to plan a holiday party, bake bread and cookies, prepare a Moroccan dinner or decorate a gingerbread house. Remember that space is limited for some classes, so register ASAP. The cost for the classes is per person, unless noted otherwise.
Market District (various locations, marketdistrict.com). The hands-on cooking classes are $50.
- Back to Basics: Roasting and Braising 101, 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 28 at Robinson Market District (100 Settlers Ridge Center Drive, Robinson, 412-490-5827). Students will learn the basics of roasting and braising and how to create a menu from appetizers to desserts for the holidays.
- Hungarian Favorites, 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Robinson Market District. The class will teach how to prepare Hungarian staple meals such as stuffed cabbage rolls; chicken paprikash; goulash; and somloi galuska (sponge cake with chocolate sauce and whipped cream).
Chop, Wok & Talk! (5404 Penn Ave., Bloomfield, 412-362-0679, chopwoktalk.com). Owner Dorothy Tague will hold hands-on, BYOB cooking classes.
- Moroccan Dinner, 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 28. Cost: $75. The menu features beef shish kebabs Marrakesh-style; tagine of chicken, lemons and artichokes with couscous; Moroccan coconut macaroons; and Moroccan coffee.
- Date Night Dining, 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 10. Cost: $160. Guests will learn to whip up and then sample toasted baguette stuffed with Brie and topped with cherry chutney; filet mignon in cipollini onion sauce; green salad with goat cheese croquettes, candied walnuts and lemon vinaigrette; and cranberry trifle for dessert.
- French Dinner, 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 13. Cost: $75. Participants will prepare French onion soup; cheese souffle with a mixed green salad; and profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Gaynor’s School of Cooking (309 East Carson St., South Side, 412-325-2703, gaynorsschoolofcooking.com). Hands-on classes range from holiday baking to ethnic cooking.
- Hors d’oeuvres for the Holidays, 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 2. Cost: $95. Attendees will prepare appetizers such as mini crab cakes, Vietnamese spring rolls and caramelized Brie.
- Beginners Bread Baking, 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 5. Cost: $95. Participants will bake the classic French bread, challah, bagels, pita and sunflower seed bread.
- A “Julia Child” Holiday Celebration, 6 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 16. Cost: $75. The class will feature a selection of Julia Child’s recipes including her famous Beef Bourguignon.
Palate Partners/Dreadnought Wines (3401 Liberty Ave., 412-391-8502, palatepartners.com).
- First and Third Casual Friday classes, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 16. Cost: $12 per class. Tasters will learn about the background of three white and three red wines.
- Level 1 Award in Wine with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, 1 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 10 and 11. Cost: $199. The two-day entry-level course will teach about basic grape varieties, wine tasting, food and wine pairing, and basic service knowledge.
Habitat Restaurant (510 Market St., Downtown, 412-773-8848, habitatrestaurant.com).
- Adult Gingerbread Class, 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. Cost: $75. Pastry chef James Wroblewski will share gingerbread decorating secrets while guests create their own gingerbread houses that they can take home. The cost includes all materials, hors d’oeuvres and two holiday cocktails.
- Holiday Party Planning, 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 3. Cost: $65. Learn how to make cocktails and canapes during the demonstration-style class, where chefs will prepare a three-course lunch. The appetizer, entree and dessert will then be served to participants. They also will be offered a cocktail and a Habitat apron.
- Children’s Gingerbread Class, 10 a.m. to noon on Dec. 4. Cost: $59 (1 child plus 1 adult; $15 for additional adults). Pastry chef James Wroblewski will help kids decorate their gingerbread houses, which they can then take home. Cost includes all materials, an apron and refreshments. Rania’s Catering (100 Central Square, Mt. Lebanon, 412-531-2222, rania.com).
- For Kids Only…Gingerbread Houses, 10:30 a.m. to noon on Dec. 3. Cost: $40. Chef Stuart Marks will teach kids to ice and decorate gingerbread houses during the hands-on class. The kids will be served snacks and drinks. They need to bring their own aprons and can take home their holiday masterpiece. The class limit is 15 kids.
The Happy Vegan (Sigmas Conference & Event Center, 1717 Babcock Blvd., Shaler, 412-407-2810, thehappyvegan.com). Cost: $40.
- Sweeten Up for the Holidays, 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 8. Owner Sharon Gregory will teach how to make apple pie bites, chocolate mousse, mini almond mounds and chocolate coconut balls in the hands-on class. Guests can eat what they made or take their treats home.
The Enrico Biscotti Co. (2022 Penn Ave., Strip District, 412-281-2602, enricobiscotti.com). Cost: $85.
- It will host two hands-on Holiday Cookie Classes from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 14.
Handmade Pasta by Yvonne (3333 Babcock Blvd., Ross, 412-818-5808, handmadepastabyyvonne.com). Cost: $50.
- The Basic Pasta Making Class will be at 5 p.m. on Dec. 9 and 16. Each hands-on class is limited to four to six students, who may bring their own wine. Guests will learn how to knead, roll and cut pasta dough by hand; use a hand-cranked pasta machine; and dress pasta with different flavors of extra-virgin olive oil and cheese. They can finally eat what they made, as well as antipasti, desserts and espresso.
Crate Cooking School (1960 Greentree Road, Scott Township, 412-341-5700, cratecook.com).
- Cooking with Cocktails: 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 12. Cost: $70. Jen Clark will teach how to prepare Boozy Baked Brie Crostini with figs and pecans; Whiskey Beef Sliders with caramelized onions and bacon; and Red Wine Pear Crisp with spiced streusel in the hands-on class.
- Holiday Cookie Exchange, 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 15. Cost: $60. The hands-on class will be taught by Joanie Mussomeli and chef Mary Pat Tozzie. Participants will make cookies such as Peanut Butter Blossoms, Coconut Macaroons, Mocha Mousse Brownies and White Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Holiday Lunch and Learn, noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 21. Cost: $45. At this demonstration-style class, instructors will prepare and serve a menu that includes pear-pomegranate bellini, rosemary-crusted New York strip with mushroom gravy, and chocolate-peppermint mousse pie.