Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cooking Classes in Howard County; Chef Ben Tehranian Gets A Rave From Jackie

I have always wonder about local cooking classes, but Jackie actually got up and did one -- a night with chef Ben Tehranian who she recommends.

Tehranian lives in Columbia and teaches from his town house off Snowden.  Jackie made an appointment, then picked one of the 10 menus on his website.  She says he was really flexible with scheduling, and they cooked a menu that included soup, poached pears, lamp chops and more.  (He also snapped photos for her.)

The 10 menus all run six courses.  It looks like an adventure, and Jackie said she had a great time:
It was $95 for the session which normally runs 2.5-3 hours, but I managed to get 3.5 hours out of him :) That included all of the food, copies of the recipes, take home containers and a pretty little certificate for completing the lesson. He also mentioned that he's willing to work with any kind of menu, not just the ones listed on his website. He's trained in classical French but I should mention that he used to own a seafood restaurant in which he received many awards for his crabcakes, which he will teach you how to make!! He also gives discounts for groups.
Anyone else know about local cooking classes?  I feel like I have heard about classes at Donna's and Cafe de Paris.  Anyone have experiences?  I would love if you'd email me a photo and a description of what you paid, what you did, what you thought . . . 

(Update: See the comment below about Michelle's Kitchen --


  1. A bit of a shameless plug for my wife, but check out She does in-home cooking lessons for people that want to learn to cook for their families, a special diet, or just up their game a bit. I eat her food all the time and love it, but you might say I'm a bit biased!

  2. @Mike -- Plugs for a wife aren't shameless. They're spectacular.

    Three pararaphs about the local markets where the cooking teacher likes to shop for food. One cell phone photo. That's all she needs for a HowChow guest post and a way to link to the Web site again. Think about! My email is in the right column.

  3. Alba Carbonaro-Johnson is another excellent Howard County chef. She teaches cooking classes at Westwood Unique in Glenelg and will also do cooking classes in your home. I've attended her classes at Westwood Unique and also had her teach a class at my home with a group of friends. Her specialty is a combination of North African and Mediterranean cooking. Her recipes are healthy, easy to prepare and delicious! She has a blog at with some great recipes and a link to her class schedules. I highly recommend her!

  4. Been reading your blog for a few months and it's been great. Have "discovered" some of the places you've mentioned, most notably R&R Deli, love the tacos. I had a question about cooking classes and wanted to see if you had any suggestions. Do you know of any restaurants in Howard County or Baltimore City that offer cooking classes? Want to give it as a gift to my gf for her birthday. Thanks for any help.

  5. This is totally outdated, but in the summer of 2008 I took a cooking class at Cafe de Paris. It was not a private class, I think we were 8 in the group. I thought it was great; we made a simple yet delicious meal then ate it. Everyone took turns doing the hands on stuff; it was run by the chef at the time and I believe they have since changed chefs.

  6. I second a recommendation for Alba - she taught us how to make a fantastic Tunisian chili sauce called harissa in a public 'spices' class. This sauce has become a mainstay in our house.

    I also had a good time at a class taught by Mark Waitsman; he also keeps up with a newsletter that contains recipes, good food buys, and new classes.

    I heard these classes through Howard County Recreation under the 'cooking' category:

  7. I went to Bens cooking class lately and I was so asstonished by his excellent cooking skills. I could not even imagine that in just 3 hours, I could learn so much. Next time, we are a group of eight. He wants to teach us how to make mousse chocolate, stuffed florentine and crab soup. Can´t wait...


I love comments -- especially comments that specifically recommend dishes or items to buy. Tell people what you like and why. If you can, please don't leave it as "anonymous." Just choose "name/URL" below, type in a nickname and leave the URL part blank. I like following people's comments even if I don't know your name.