From French pastries to Caribbean cuisine, Japanese sushi to Argentine steak asados, these Miami restaurants are cooking up amazing, authentic bites. And if you ever wanted to take these flavors home with you, you’re in luck — these same eateries will teach you how to cook their signature recipes so you can re-create them at home.
The Biltmore Culinary Academy
It’s not every day you get to dine at a Forbes Travel Guide Star-Rated restaurant — let alone prepare a meal alongside its chefs. But at this luxe cooking school, you can. Housed inside Four-Star The Biltmore in Coral Gables, the culinary academy has a dedicated learning space and fully equipped kitchen, offering lessons for both adults and children.
Classes are taught by the hotel’s acclaimed culinary staff, which helms the kitchens at Four-Star Palme d’Or and Fontana. Themes for the culinary courses range from the heavenly (a French desserts class on February 16 will teach you to craft easy sweets) to the healthy (create heart-smart dishes on February 21).
Celebrated Argentine grillmaster Francis Mallmann is renowned for his live-fire grilling, which diners at his Four-Star eatery inside the Five-Star Faena Hotel Miami Beach get to experience firsthand in the outdoor, open-fire kitchen.
In the past, Mallmann has offered guests the chance to join him in the kitchen and learn his distinctive technique, then dig into a family-style lunch complete with wine pairings.
Keep an eye on the hotel’s website to catch the next gastronomic event.
Ortanique on the Mile
One Saturday a month, chef Cindy Hutson hosts a three-hour interactive class, teaching students how to prepare her “Cuisine of the Sun.” Hutson is known for her regionally inspired Caribbean concepts, so if your palate leans toward bold zesty flavors, you’ll enjoy this one.
Feast on the likes of pan-sautéed shishito peppers with a roasted garlic miso aioli, pan-seared European branzino and a fresh berry panna cotta (one of the chef’s favorites).
As a bonus, each course is complemented with wine and champagne pairings.
In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken
James Beard Award-winning chef Norman Van Aken brings three new culinary outposts to the recently opened Wynwood Arcade complex. Even though the doors of his new restaurant (Three) and watering hole (No. 3 Social Rooftop Bar & Lounge) just opened in November, the eatery is already gaining a steady following. The neighboring 2,200-square-foot cooking school, In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken, is sure to do the same.
No official opening date had been announced at press time, but we hear the classes will offer a deep dive into the storied toque’s broad background in global flavors and techniques.
Van Aken, who has been described as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” specializes in blending Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also renowned for introducing the fusion concept to the culinary world. Our mouths are already watering to learn more.
Jack’s Home Cooking
At Jack’s in Wynwood, John Parlavecchio wants you to feel as if you just sat down for a meal at his Italian grandmother’s kitchen. He succeeds with a nonna-approved menu of Italian classics — think spaghetti Bolognese, fettucine alfredo and eggplant Parmesan — served while lounging on a cozy patio swathed in twinkling white lights.
Even better, you can learn to recreate the home-style trattoria experience at you own stove. On January 28, the cozy eatery will host its next cooking class, and shrimp scampi will be on the menu. If you can’t make it this month, call ahead to inquire about a future cooking lesson.
Kiji Cuzco Restaurant
Kiji Cuzco may look like an unassuming, neon-lit tavern, but on the second Saturday of the month, the Japanese-Peruvian eatery is the place to go if you want to learn how to roll sushi like a pro.
Master a variety of preparations while learning the history of the art form from your chef-guide. In addition to sampling your handmade rolls, you can also imbibe on bottomless sake and mimosas.
Tip: the class coincides with the Wynwood Arts and Design District’s monthly art walk. Take advantage of the lively atmosphere and go for a stroll after class to eat up the vibrant art scene.