For your next date night, sure, you could go the traditional route and make a reservation for dinner at a nice restaurant.
But why not engage the fun, creative side of your brain and enjoy a nice meal with your partner instead?
That’s what’s on the menu when you visit Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, located in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. This innovative place offers hands-on classes for home cooks, as well as certificate programs for aspiring chefs and hospitality managers. It’s the perfect Denver date night location if you’re looking to mix things up, learn a new skill or just do something different.
Originally founded in 1999 in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood, the cooking school moved to its Golden Triangle home in 2019. Its current owner and director is Lindsey Reese, a University of Colorado Boulder alum and mountain bike enthusiast who bought the business from its original owners in 2018.
On a recent evening, I got to try my hand at making sushi in the school’s sleek, professional-style kitchen — under the supervision of two experienced chefs, of course. My group learned how to cut vegetables with precision, layer rice onto seaweed and carefully roll the sushi to make a colorful — and delicious — kaleidoscope. We also learned how to make taro tataki, or lightly seared tuna, as well as tamagoyaki, a delicate but flavorful Japanese omelet. After enjoying a welcome cocktail when we first arrived, we also sipped wine and beer from the in-house bar throughout the class. Once we’d cooked up everything on the pre-set menu, everyone in the class sat down to enjoy a family-style meal and chat about our newfound skills.
In the end, it was an incredible learning experience that definitely inspired me to try to learn other new dishes and techniques to bring back to my kitchen at home.
No matter your interest and skill level, Cook Street has a class for you. You can practice classic techniques like knife skills and learn how to make traditional sauces to help level up your overall home cooking skills. Or, if you love watching “The Great British Bake Off,” consider taking one of the pastry and baking classes, such as “Everyday Breads,” “All Things Brioche,” “Artisan Cookies” or “American Pie.”
If beer, wine and spirits interest you, check out one of Cook Street’s “Wine 101” courses, or its “Bites & Brews” or “Bubbles & Brunch” sessions.
You’ll also find a wide variety of cuisines and styles covered in its one-night classes, from ramen and pho to explorations of French cooking and Mexican street foods. They even have special “culinary date night” sessions that focus on the foods of one particular country or region, such as France, Italy, Spain or Germany.
You can practice whole-hog butchery, learn how to make dim sum or take a tour of the world by sipping various wines. The opportunities are limitless — so long as you’re not a picky eater.
And who knows? After an engaging date night cooking class at the school, you may be inspired to pursue a new career as a chef or restaurant manager. Cook Street can help with that too: The school offers professional programs in hospitality management and culinary art. If you need to keep your day job, you’ll be happy to know you can enroll in evening classes for both.
Convinced? Check out Cook Street’s robust calendar of upcoming classes online and see if there’s one that piques your interest.