Every day I receive emails with dining questions from the general public. This one is a bit out of my league. Can you offer any suggestions?

I apologize for the long explanation…I am looking for a fun opportunity to treat my wife, and maybe a couple of her girlfriends. We live in Bakersfield. We enjoy cooking and trying to make new and better things. My wife actually spent about a week in Tuscany in a cooking class at a villa. When I took her to San Francisco, I set up a day for her to shadow a chef. They let her help out, and even make some things for the evenings menu. They gave her (I paid for) a chef’s coat with her name on it and some other mementos.

Do you know of a chef or restaurant that would be willing to host 3-4 girls, teach them how to do something, let them behind the scenes or something like that?  We are wide open to any suggestion you would have. We are all pretty down-to-earth, nothing fancy needed. We would prefer a casual personality to a refined chef.

I appreciate your time.

Bakersfield, CA

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  1. Jessica Anticouni says:

    I hope this isn’t (wasn’t) a surprise for his wife…. 😉

  2. lemonjelly says:

    During a couple years ago, there was a chef who did hands-on kitchen demos with people. Not bringing people into his own kitchen, but this is the closest I can think of.

  3. Charlotte says:

    Working in a busy, professional kitchen is no cooking show or class in Tuscany eh? It’s not for everyone! Just us maniacs!

  4. says:

    The Four Seasons Biltmore offers their epic dining experience which includes a hands-on cooking class. From their website, “Farmers’ Market to Fork Culinary Experience – Relish a true locavore adventure with Executive Chef Alessandro Cartumini as your personal guide. After visiting the farmers’ market to select fresh ingredients for the day’s menu, it’s back to the kitchen for a private, hands-on cooking class. Your journey concludes with a delectable four-course lunch, paired with premium local wines, in the stunning oceanfront setting of Bella Vista. (Wine pairing is optional. Guests may also opt for the cooking class and lunch only, without the market tour.)”

  5. Fay says:

    Goodland Kitchen; not quite the experience you’d get at the Biltmore, but they could volunteer with some hands-on and help create good stuff.

  6. jules says:

    I would try Events by Phillipe. i’m sure they could arrange something for these fine ladies.

  7. johnm says:

    Thanks to the group for the suggestions. I will make soem contacts as recommended. Yes, I am hoping to surprise!

    • Nancy says:

      John, check out This is a fun class taught by Laurence Hauben, a fabulous, skilled cook and leader of Slow Foods group…It’s a trip to farmers market, sometimes fish market at the harbor (with often a pit-stop at Chocolate Maya, small shop with to-die-for chocolate), then preparing a meal with instruction–all hands-on–and enjoying the meal with paired wines. Great fun with a group!

  8. kaylin Fox says:

    both buchon and rooty 246 do this root 246 even has a table in there kitch along with the niltmore four seasons does this so fun what a great husband you are

  9. robert says:

    Seagrass. It’s on their home page. Up to 6. One of the best places in SB, or at least before the sale. Haven’t been there since.

  10. marilyn says:

    Il Grappolo in Santa Ynez might do it…

  11. Matt says:

    Duo events is a catering and event company that has an amazing kitchen and seating area and the chefs are awesome. I’d suggest giving them a call.

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