15 restaurants and institutes offering cookery lessons and promotions
Balance Café The cooking school within this ayurvedic wellness concept hosts regular classes throughout the year. The schedule for September includes lessons in healthy Indian cooking, baking, European and also Oriental cuisines. Dhs250 per class, Dhs800 for four classes. Oasis Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 515 4051).
Part of the charm of this restaurant is that you can learn to prepare your dinner inside the standalone ‘cooking pod’, before settling down to eat in the dining room. Classes begin again this month, and the schedule for September focuses on a different dish from the Blue Flame menu in each class. Recipes include seafood papillote, cod with wild mushroom ragout and a variety of wagyu or Angus beef cuts, prepared with sides including mac ’n’ cheese or truffle potatoes. From Dhs350 per person. Tue-Sat from 7pm. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud (04 230 8580).
Dusit Thani Dubai
The Thai hotel has a wealth of cooking classes taking place this month, hosted by both Benjarong and Pax restaurants. Since Benjarong’s chef de cuisine has cooked for Thai royalty, who better to initiate you in the art of Thai food? Taking place every second Saturday of the month, classes cover the preparation of one starter, one main course and one dessert, with typical examples including papaya salad and green curry with chicken and water chestnuts. Meanwhile in the same hotel, on the fourth Saturday of each month, Italian restaurant PAX will also host cooking classes. Benjarong: Dhs200 per person (minimum five people). Second Saturday of the month. 3pm-5pm. PAX: Dhs200 per person (minimum five people). Fourth Saturday of the month. 3pm-5pm. Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 317 4515).
Head to Flow Kitchen at lunchtime (except Fridays, when the Breakslow brunch takes place) and you can join in an interactive Arabic cooking class. Choose a ‘standard’ class, and you’ll get two hours of tuition, preparing four starters, such as Levantine favourites of fattoush, babaghanoush and tabbouleh, and leave with recipe cards and an instruction manual to take away with you. Go for the ‘deluxe’ package and you’ll get a two-hour class, preparing four starters, two main courses and one dessert, followed by a private lunch with the chef, topped off with souvenirs such as a personalised chef’s jacket, a video of the cooking session and a USB stick. Dhs240 per person (standard cooking class). Dhs750 per person (deluxe cooking class). Sat-Thu noon-3.30pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3388).
Jazz@PizzaExpress This Italian-inspired restaurant chain has launched a brand new ‘chef table’ concept. It allows diners to learn how to create their own pizzas, before tucking in themselves. These two-hour interactive cooking sessions are open to groups of five to ten participants. Advanced booking is advised. Dhs99 per person. Dhs149 (three house beverages). Sun-Thu 11am-6pm. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
Jones the Grocer
The regular masterclasses at this gourmet Australian café take place throughout the calendar, focussing on the preparation of one dish per month. Taking place on Wednesday evenings, the topic of classes scheduled for September is pumpkin and sage chicken roulade with pan-fried baby vegetables. Masterclass participants also get a ten percent retail discount after the lesson. Dhs375 per person. Wednesday September 10, 17, 24, 7pm-9pm. Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road (opposite Time Square Centre) (04 346 6886).
L’atelier des Chefs
This dedicated cooking school space inside Le Méridien Dubai hosts regular classes for adults, as well as for children, ranging from preparing a speedy lunch in 30 minutes to three courses over a two-hour class. Children aged seven to 12 can join in the weekly Saturday pastry masterclasses, where three desserts are prepared with guidance from the chef. Le Méridien Dubai, Airport Road (056 6900 480).
La Porte des Indes
More an observational class than an interactive one, on Tuesdays guests at this Indian-French fusion venue can enjoy a guided tour of the kitchen, followed by watching the chef in action as he prepares a selection of dishes for the day. The class also includes a welcome beverage, a three-course meal and a beverage voucher worth Dhs100, which can be redeemed on your next visit. Dhs450 per person. Tue noon-3.30pm. The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 438 8610).
South East Asian restaurant Mekong hosts daily cooking classes (with advanced booking), focussed on Thai cuisine. Lessons begin with a visit to Dubai’s vegetable and fish markets in Deira, accompanied by the restaurant’s head chef. Participants can pick out their own ingredients, with help from the chef, which they will then learn to prepare back at the restaurant, making a total of three dishes, which they can then sample by finishing off the day with lunch. Dhs950 per person. Reservation 24 hours in advance is required. Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah (04 567 8304).
Nobu This celebrity chef-fronted Japanese restaurant hosts regular sushi masterclasses, taking place on the first Saturday of each month, and under the tutelage of chef de cuisine Herve Courtot. Dhs1,250 per person. First Saturday of the month. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
This month, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers welcomes guest chefs from sister properties in Phuket. As a result, the hotel holds a month of Thai food events, including cooking classes, throughout September. Taking place from Saturday September 13, the classes will explore Thai herbs, spices and the balance of hot, sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours. Participants can learn to make classic dishes such as pad Thai and traditional dessert ‘khao niao mamuang’ (mango sticky rice). Dhs75 per person. Sat 1pm-3pm. September 13, 20, 27. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster A (04 438 0000).
SCAFA and SCAFA Petite
In addition to JLT-based cooking academy SCAFA, the father-daughter team behind this home-grown Dubai concept have recently expanded by opening a new school. It is located inside the new Carrefour retail store on Al Wasl Road. Although not yet open for business, the classes are anticipated to commence by Thursday September 18. SCAFA Petite, Carrefour Market, Al Wasl Road, Block 332-113, Jumeirah 1 (no number). SCAFA, JLT (04 379 4044).
In September, Soul Restaurant relaunches the ‘iChef’ programme of cooking classes. Groups of four to six pupils will learn to make one main course and one dessert per lesson from the restaurant’s menu, including recipes such as foie gras crème brûlée, corn-fed yellow chicken stuffed with morels, or warm chocolate fondant and apple tarte tatin from the dessert list. Dhs200 per person. Saturday September 20, 4pm-6pm. Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 449 8836).
The Japanese restaurant hosts weekly sushi masterclasses on Sundays. Here pupils can learn to make nigiri and California rolls, while being served a selection of grape or soft drinks during the class, followed by complimentary Japanese beverage tasting. Dhs300 per person. Sun 7.30pm-9.30pm. Vida Downtown Hotel, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 442 8383).
This Jumeirah-based cooking studio runs a programme of regular classes aimed at both adults and children. Events taking place this month include Thermomix demos, Thai cooking classes and more. From Dhs250. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 (04 385 5781).