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Macy's School of Cooking

We are fortunate enough to live in a time where respect for chefs and their culinary enlightenments have taken the country by storm. We have programming like Top Chef, Iron Chef and an entire network dedicated to making us look like one. While it’s very easy to settle in a chair, watch a few recipes being done way to easily on the screen (like we could whip up a four-course meal in 30 minutes, thank you Rachael Ray), if you’re feeling a little adventurous we invite you to take it to the next level and pay a visit to Macy’s School of Cooking.

Located at Macy’s Mission Valley Home Store, the class is a superb way to see firsthand a meal being prepared from start to finish, a way to engage the guest chef directly with questions, platitudes and “ooosss” and “ahhhsss”. The classes are fun, lively and everyone gets the chance to sample the meal being created and most importantly, they are full of insightful information and history. The classroom is just that. Set up with tables and chairs for taking notes and sampling the dishes. Whether you’re in the front rows (and just a few feet from the chef) or further back (where three TV screens capture the entire process), you will be drawn into the art of cooking.


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The class we attended was called “Medieval Easter Feast” and presented to us was Crown of Lamb of Renaissance, Root Vegetables and Ouzo Sage Jus by Host Chef Bernard Guillas from the Marine Room at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. One great aspect of the cooking process was that Chef Guillas remained true to the traditional style of cooking and ingredients that were available during medieval times.

We learned interesting facts such as Presale Lamb (that’s pronounced pre-sal-e) is considered the finest lamb as it is raised by the sea. We savored a country meadow lamb from Australia and we instructed to “never take your eyes off the blade” when cutting. Did you know the back side of a knife makes a great tool for mashing garlic or that Fleur de Sal (“flower of salt”), a sea salt, is considered the best salt. Classes help you with wine pairings and the importance of doing so to enhance your meal. You can even fire away questions for the chef to answer, giving you the benefit of his experiences.

They even have hands on classes which get you into the kitchen to slice and dice away. These are also offered for children during the summer and sometimes on Sundays. Think of it as Camp Iron Chef. The classes are broken up by age groups of 5-12 and 13-17, with both being limited to 24 kids per class. The younger age group “visits” a different country each day, highlighting ingredients from each region. These kid classes usually finish off with an “Iron Chef” style challenge using a secret ingredient. How cool is that? The older group receives a chef from a different local restaurant to learn different styles and techniques.


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Prices range from $10 a class to upwards of $55 depending on what style of event is being held. Often times the cost is used to support a local charity, making learning and giving a pretty great way to spend the day. Even better, when you’re done you can shop the store to buy those “must have” kitchen gadgets and cookware. Enjoy!

The good – It’s a lot of fun engaging the chef and sampling their unique dishes.

The bad – it’s only a sampling and not a full meal because it was so good we wanted more and you’re usually salivating toward the end.

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  • City: San Diego, CA 92108
  • Phone: 888-424-3663
  • Name: Macy's School of Cooking
  • Address: 1555 Camino de la Reina