Five options for culinary classes this summer

Yes you can master homemade Strawberries and Cream Mille-Feuille! Adam Schonert of Schonert’s Patisserie will coach you through it on June 17 at Rose Farm. Photo: Julia Gartland.

Writer: Karla Walsh

Remember counting down to the final bell of the school year? Its ring signaled the season of swimming pools and ice cream cones and, if we were lucky, nothing that involved the dreaded “summer school.”

But as adults, summer is the perfect time to enroll in a class or two — especially if you can eat whatever you make for the final exam. Here are a few A-plus options for summer cooking classes that don’t require a single prerequisite.

Cooking With Alessandra’s Italian-inspired classes in the East Village are so popular, they often sell out three months in advance. So sign up early or hop on the waitlist if you’d like to enjoy copious amounts of Alessandra Meschini’s focaccia while she teaches you how to follow her family’s heirloom recipes for meatballs, gnocchi, lasagna, chicken spiedini and more.

Culinary Annex, Cassandra Spence’s shared-use kitchen and culinary instruction lab, is set to open later this year in Valley Junction. So for now, “chef Cass” is teaching dumpling, sushi, Thai and other Asian-inspired classes at Cooking With Alessandra’s studio.

Cook’s Emporium, a fixture in downtown Ames, offers expert instruction in scone 101, sourdough for beginners and the art of DIY pop tarts — led by Central Iowa pros like Alisa Woods from Sift n Sprinkle and Ryan Binney of DMACC’s baking and pastry arts program.

Kitchen Collage has been selling an eclectic mix of cookbooks, kitchen tools and home essentials since 1999. Several times each month, Teresa Adams-Tomka turns the East Village shop into a classroom for a cookbook club or for lessons on baked goods, global recipes and more with pie pro Lana Shope, recipe developer Haley Scarpino, and local food expert and Costa Rica native Nela Blanco.

Rose Farm in Norwalk offers much more than beautiful flowers! Owner Karri Rose has curated a dream team of instructors to lead courses at her workshop, including sourdough with Chelsea Smith of Bread by Chelsa B, cookies and snack boards with Maggie Glisan of Oh Hey Magpie, international and family-friendly fare with Sue Honkamp of Real Food 4 Kids, wine with Sarah Pritchard of Sunday Night Foods, and pastries with Adam Schonert of Schonert’s Patisserie.

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