Wise Up: Get Cooking

6 Places in Portland to Up Your Kitchen IQ

Knife sharpening to cocktail making to pig butchery, here are the city’s best spots to build your kitchen skills.

By Benjamin Tepler November 14, 2016 Published in the December 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

Pomo 1216 adult ed cooking classes liazco

Basic pig butchery at Portland Meat Collective

Sushi Class

Flying Fish

Every few months, Portland’s locally minded fishery upstart joins forces with sustainable sushi empire Bamboo to teach the basics with the freshest catch in town. You’ll master sushi rice, Japanese knife skills, and a handful of roll styles—all using Flying Fish’s Oregon-caught sockeye salmon and albacore tuna. Bonus: the saké flows freely. 2-hour class, $60

Knife Sharpening

Portland Knife House

Portland chefs get weak in the knees at the mention of this temple to cutlery. A class with the experts includes your very own carbon-core santoku blade, instruction on sharpening with stones and strops, and a lifetime 10-percent discount on equipment and services. 3-hour class, $125

Basic Pig Butchery

Portland Meat Collective

The New York Times–famous butchery course (pictured above) from meat revolutionary Camas Davis is still one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn to break down an entire pig into various cookable parts, nibble on charcuterie, and take home 30 pounds of meat (time to buy that extra freezer). 4.5-hour class, $285

Sourdough 101

Tabor Bread

At SE Hawthorne Boulevard’s beyond-from-scratch bakery (even the grains are milled in-house), the tireless pros from Tabor teach all of the bread-baking essentials, including how to use natural starters and bake in a cast-iron skillet. Students will adopt their very own starter, or “mother,” to raise, care for, and bake with at home. 2.5-hour class, $65

Home Brew


This Sellwood beer supply shop takes the mystique out of brewing. Choose your style—Belgian to bacon-flavored—and get to work grinding, mashing, boiling, and fermenting your own brew in mini 20-gallon kettles. The worst part? Waiting four weeks for your custom swill to ferment. About 5 hours, starting from $200 (up to six people per kettle)

Cocktail Making

New Deal Distillery

Who better to teach the bartending basics than one of Portland’s oldest craft distilleries? The 12-year-old gin and vodka makers walk you through the essentials—stirring, shaking, manhattans, negronis—and give students the knowledge (and liquid courage) they need to experiment. 2-hour class, $65 (includes a small bar kit)

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