Some New Year's resolutions virtually beg to be broken: We vow to lose 15 pounds, cut back on our drinking, or give up carbs or dairy. But by the time February 1 rolls around, as we shovel another forkful of truffle mac and cheese into our mouths and wash it down with a third glass of wine, these promises generally have become all but a memory.
Some resolutions, like becoming more confident and deft in the kitchen, are reasonable and constructive, and they stand a fighting chance of sticking past the first few weeks of January. So this year, instead of eliminating dishes from you diet, lean how to master them with these four skill-building classes.
SF Cooking: Sauce Fundamentals
Where: SF Cooking School
When: Thursday, Feb. 20, 6-10 p.m.
Cost: $150, tickets available on the SF Cooking School website
The rundown: The secret to many of the most-loved restaurant dishes? An expertly-crafted sauce. In this four-hour class, you will whip up both classical and modern sauces including hollandaise, beurre blanc, béchamel, aioli, and salsa verde. And if the thought of emulsifying inspires fear, not to worry; wine will be served.
Basic Knife Skills
Where: 18 Reasons, 3674 18th St., 568-2710
When: Tuesday, Feb. 4; 6-8:15 p.m.
Cost: $25 for 18 Reasons members; $35 for the general public; tickets available on Brown Paper Tickets
The rundown: This beginner-friendly class explores the ins and outs of chopping and dicing, as well as proper knife care and safety. And all the vegetables you'll use for practice will be used for a Vietnamese salad served alongside two of our favorite things ... bread and beer.
How to Cook Everything: The Basic Series
Where: Sur la Table, 2224 Union, 318-8116
When: Jan. 10, 17, and 24; noon - 2 p.m.
Cost: $195, tickets available on the Sur a Table website
The rundown: Based on the award-winning, eponymous cookbook from Mark Bittman, this class is suited to novices seeking to learn their way around the kitchen. In the class' three sessions, you will explore basic techniques used in meat, seafood, and grain preparation. One of the best parts of the class? A copy of Bittman's How to Cook Everything to continue your education after class is dismissed.
Pastry Workshop: San Francisco Pastry Pros
Where: SF Cooking School, 690 Van Ness, 346-2665
When: Monday, January 13 - Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $695, tickets available on the SF Cooking School website
The rundown: This three-day intensive series is meant for the avid home baker eager to improve his/her pastry skills. Taught by four of the city's most celebrated pastry professionals: Nicole Plue (SF Cooking's Director of Pastry Arts), Lincoln Carson (Michael Mina Group), Bill Corbett (Absinthe Group), and William Werner (Craftsman and Wolves), this class will cover verrines, pate au choux, gougeres, and chocolate.