You've been to the upscale grocery stores and the tiny ethnic markets, you purchased the Thomas Keller cookbooks and the obscure gadgets and you even ordered that adorable apron from Williams-Sonoma. Eventually, you are going to have to cook something. Lucky for you Portland's rock-star chefs and devoted foodies are willing to impart their knowledge and guide you on a culinary conquest. So, what's on the menu?
Butcher a pig.
Where to go: Portland Meat Collective, 347-5540, pdxmeat.com.
What you'll get: The whole hog—well, chunks of it anyway. The local butchery school gives students the hands-on approach to dividing up a pig and lessons on what to do with the pieces.
Cost: $225, with meat included
Mix a killer cocktail.
Where to go: House Spirits Distillery, 2025 SE 7th Ave., 235-3174, housespirits.com.
What you'll get: A two-hour class touching on the history of cocktails and spirits (enlightening and intoxicating), the basics of balancing a perfect cocktail, and how to mix up a variety of fancy beverages.
Make authentic Indian cuisine.
Where to go: Milwaukie Kitchen & Wine, 10610 SE Main St., 653-3228, milwaukiekitchen.com.
What you'll get: The kitchen store, deli and specialty grocer offers a variety of cooking classes, but instructor Leena Ezekiel brings the flavors of her native India to the table, from home cooking to street food.
Make sushi like Jiro.
Where to go: Miso Magic, 1332 SE 44th Ave., 867-6367, misomagic.com.
What you'll get: Hands-on instruction with the school's founder, Noriko Hirayama, in preparing sushi rice, traditional rolls and miso soup.
Do it fast, cheap and tasty.
Where to go: Cook With What You Have, cookwithwhatyouhave.com.
What you'll get: Passionate cook and slow-food activist Katherine Deumling teaches classes out of her inner-Southeast home on how to whip up delicious meals with what you've already got in the fridge; stock the pantry for fast, healthy cooking; and be a savvy shopper at the farmers market.
Cost: $30-$195, depending on the class
Be the next Julia Child.
Where to go: Robert Reynolds Chef Studio, 2818 SE Pine St., thechefstudio.com.
What you'll get: Serious culinary training in the traditional French style in an eight-week course with chef, author and educator Robert Reynolds. Also offered is a four-part series hosted by local chefs, and for the truly devoted (and wealthy), a five-day trip to the Bordeaux region of France to shop, cook and eat.
Cost: $600-$800 for the series, $9,000 for the course, $3,200 for the trip (not including travel)
Make cheese, pickle things, brew kombucha…I want it all!
Where to go: Urban Growth Bounty, portlandonline.com/bps.
What you'll get: A project of the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Urban Growth Bounty offers a cornucopia of classes on the topics that highlight our very Portland-ness, from beekeeping and cheesemaking to pickling/preserving and backyard animal husbandry. Local experts share their DIY skills.