In Food + Drink

Sydney’s Best Cooking Schools

Whether you see them as a fun after-work or weekend activity, or as a way to seriously upskill in the kitchen, cooking classes are always a treat. They’ll see you experimenting with new ingredients; learning tips and tricks from the pros; and savouring your creations at the end.

And with Sydney brimming with chefs from all over the world, the city has no shortage of food-making experiences on offer. Among them, we’ve handpicked the best.


Described as the more spontaneous and playful sibling of the well-established Cipri Italian, newly-opened Barbetta is a café, gourmet food store and cooking workshops space all rolled into one. A few doors down from its more mature counterpart in Paddington, the venue’s interior takes cues from old-fashioned Italian villages with exposed brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Here you can sign up for two-hour classes teaching you to make classic lasagna, traditional gnocchi or simple pasta. Every class is hands-on, suitable for beginners and includes lunch or dinner and a take-home of the prepared dish. Classes run Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. For the young ones, there’s a bambini pasta class during the school holidays.

2 Elizabeth Street, Paddington

Sydney Seafood School

Established in 1989 and now seeing 12,000 students a year walking through its doors, it’s safe to call Sydney Seafood School an institution. Initially created to stir demand for seafood considered unusual to buy at the time (octopus, squid and mussels), the School has since broadened its class offerings.

Today, you can learn to make Spanish paella with the creative director of the company behind Bennelong and Quay or how to recreate Chinese seafood dishes under the guidance of Andy Evans of Neil Perry’s Spice Temple.

Christine Manfield, Matt Moran and Guillaume Brahimi are other notable names teaching here. Classes consists of a demonstration and cooking session, and finish with a seafood meal and wine tasting.

Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont

Salt Meats Cheese

Seeing as they’re a major figure in Sydney’s Italian eatery and food retail scene, you know the classes coming out of Salt Meats Cheese are going to be worth your while. Held in their Bondi Junction location, the sessions see chefs spill their secret techniques for perfecting pizzas, focaccias, tortellini, and an array of other Italian classics.

Highlights among their one-off, special guest workshops include a chestnut gnocchi-making class taught by two Michelin star chef Luca Ciano and an introduction to sausage-making session with Chrissy Flanagan of Chrissy’s Cuts. Regular classes run every few days.

Westfield Bondi Junction, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction

VIVE Cooking School

Since opening in Rosebery’s revived warehouse space The Cannery in 2016, VIVE Cooking School has been a go-to for anyone looking to add to their culinary repertoire. The school was founded with the intention of igniting people’s passion for good food and then giving them the cooking knowledge to go forth and make it.

You name a dish, you’ll likely be able to learn to make it here. The school teaches how to make gluten-free eats and how to cook Spanish tapas and French desserts. Revisit your school chemistry subject days with a molecular cuisine class or tap into your artistic side with ‘Art of Plating 101’. Book ahead – the classes are known to sell out far in advance.

The Cannery, 61-71 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery

Fish & Co at Tramsheds

Dumplings are always a dinner party hit so mastering the art of making them is an extremely useful skill to have. For two sessions only – on Friday, July 27th and Thursday, August 9th – Vanessa ‘The Hungry Chook’ Miles will take over Artisan Lane at the Tramsheds teaching guests the nitty gritty of wild prawn and pork dumplings-making.

You’ll begin with the handmade dough and wild prawn and pork filling before going into the dumpling folding, pleating and cooking process. Limited spaces make for an intimate, hands-on experience. After working hard in the kitchen, you’ll sit down to eat the dumplings alongside a generous serving of Asian salad. A glass of sparkling rose, Fish & Co bag and recipe card is also included.

Tramsheds, 1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge

Sydney Cooking Classes by VictorsFood

Its tagline ‘a little bit of the world’ sums Sydney Cooking Classes by VictorsFood well. The cooking school has classes on everything from Malaysian street food to Marrakech feasts; Aussie BBQ to Yum Cha.

Classes are taught in a penthouse kitchen and are limited to only eight people. Most are led by the owner Victor, but occasionally a guest chef will be brought in to dish out their insider knowledge. You’ll also learn plenty of practical tips here,  including things like knife sharpening, time management and where to find the best ingredients.

Danks Street, Waterloo

Published 06 May, 2018