Grand Rapids is a great food city. Dozens of family farms and orchards grow the food that chefs – many trained at a prestigious local culinary institute – use to craft a diverse array of cuisines and dishes in 1,100+ restaurants around the city and county.

Visitors can dig deep into the local food scene by touring farms and orchards, attending special tastings and theme dinners at local restaurants, and taking cooking classes led by expert chefs at a variety of commercial kitchens, including:

Cooking class at the Local Epicurean

Head to Eastown and enjoy a cooking class at The Local Epicurean, followed by a meal featuring your own hand-crafted creations!

Photo by Haley Chicoine for Experience GR

The Local Epicurean

Billing itself as “American’s Hand Made Pasta Company,” The Local Epicurean offers cooking classes seven days a week, with an emphasis on classic Italian dishes: Calabria Rack of Lamb, Sicilian Scampi, Ligurian Lobster, Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna and many more. There are also three pasta classes – Pasta Fundamentals, Seasonal Gnocchi and Signature Scissor Noodles – each followed by a three-course meal featuring your handcrafted creations.

In addition to public classes, The Local Epicurean host private classes and private lounge parties for two to 48 guests.

You can also shop The Local Epicurean for more than 100 varieties of pasta plus sauces, cheeses, vinegars, oils and more.

Motherland Cooking Xperience

Motherland Cooking Xperience takes guests on a journey through Africa via a variety of hands-on, interactive cooking classes. Many of the Xperiences are conducted virtually but in-person events are also hosted throughout the year.

Participants will learn to cook an authentic African three-course meal while enjoying live African music and storytelling. A constantly changing line-up of dishes, recipes, acts and artists ensure a unique experience every time.

Thought Design

Thought Design is a “mind lab” that designs powerful learning experiences on a variety of themes, including cooking. But cooking isn’t just cooking at Thought Design. It’s an experience that engages all five senses, which is proven to make learning stick.

Choose from an array of public classes or work with Chef Shaun to design a private culinary experience just for your group or work team. From an immersive, hands-on cooking class with full instruction to a cooking demonstration, Chef Shaun will cook up an experience that’s fun, affordable and of course, delicious. Classes are taught in a state-of-the-art culinary studio that can accommodate up to 60 people.

Many of our creative farm-to-table chefs take great delight in sharing their tips and techniques in special classes designed for home cooks. And some of our finest restaurants open their doors for entertaining educational events like beer and wine tastings, theme dinners and more.

Additional Cooking Classes

Kentwood Parks & Rec. The Parks & Recreation Department of this southeast Grand Rapids suburb conducts a variety of adult and kids’ cooking classes that you don’t have to be a resident to take.

Louise Earl Butcher. Butcher shop in the Uptown neighborhood of GR hosts occasional cooking classes, butchering workshops, dinners and tastings.

Mary Free Bed YWCA. YWCA in southeast GR offers cooking and nutrition classes for kids aged 3-16.

Spruced Studio. The range of hands-on experiences offered at this DIY workshop include occasional cooking classes.

Sweet Details GR. This licensed cake studio offers both public and private classes in decorating cakes, cookies and desserts.

Williams-Sonoma. National houseware + kitchenware retailer offers a regular schedule of cooking classes in its Woodland Mall store.

Motherland Cooking Xperience

Try an African cooking class with Motherland! Our classes provide a safe and interactive space for you to learn how to perfect some of Africa's most delicious dishes, all while experiencing the diverse sounds of live African music and stories. What…

Take a Cooking Class