Cooking for Christmas: how to feed crowds without elves.

Thanksgiving is barely behind us but it’s never too early to chart your next culinary triumph or strategize to prevent another Boot-the-Bird-to-the-Curb debacle.   (And the Play-Doh mashed potatoes?  Don’t go there, Go Go’ers.)

Whether you’re a kitchen whiz looking for extra merry-merry or a wimp looking for a Christmas  miracle, the following pros offer cooking classes to help you put some wow in your wassail.

Border Grill

For a Feliz Navidad spin on the holiday, check out the one-day-only (So make reservations pronto!) Entertaining a Holiday Crowd Cooking Class offered by the Two Hot Tamales Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger at their new Downtown location .

The $75 demo-style cooking class includes: a multi-course lunch; a bonus demonstration by Samuel Jimenez of LAMill Coffee (They created the Border Grill’s special cafe blend);  a recipe booklet so you can duplicate the delish at home; and a  make-ahead menu with yummies like Grilled Pear and Endive Salad, Torta de Tres Leches de Cafe, and a signature Pico de Granada Margarita.

Hint: Leave a cocktail instead of cookies for Santa so he remembers just how good you’ve been….


For sassy twists on holiday stand-bys, check out classes like A Winter Brunch (Smoked salmon pancakes with lemon creme fraiche!  Pomegranate Bellinis!) or I Ain’t No Turkey! (Fear not, turkey-phobic!  The latter class features Cornish game hens stuffed with apricot couscous.)

The combination of knowledgeable teacher demos, hands-on student prep, and the opportunity to eat the fruits of your labor (with accompanying adult beverages, natch) ensures maximum fun at owner/chef Monica Reti’s two locations in East and West Los Angeles.

Bonus!   Finish your holiday shopping with fun foodie stocking stuffers like Swissmar peelers and high temp spoons…giving you extra time to perfect the pomegranate Bellinis.

Because if you have Bellinis on the table, no one will notice if you left the giblets in the goose.

Chefs, Inc.

If you’re looking to rev up your gift-giving repertoire, Chef Leslie McKenna offers hands-on classes like a Sugar Cookie Workshop or Holiday Gift Giving – A Taste of Italy. Wow amici e famiglia with Artichoke and Olive Tapenade with Bread Sticks or Alla Vodka Sauce!

And if you’re already thinking beyond the eggnog, Chef McKenna herself will be teaching the  New Year’s Eve Appetizer and Cocktails class along with master mixologist John Apodaca.  Make Sweet Potato Pancakes with Peking Duck and Red Cabbage Beet Slaw or Phyllo Pockets filed with Lamb, Feta, Pine Nuts and Mint while you whip up (and taste!) classic cocktails like the Hot Toddy, the Tom and Jerry, or the Blue Blazer: a flaming whiskey punch poured between two cups.

You’ve always secretly wanted to play with fire.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Entertaining a Holiday Crowd Cooking Class

Saturday, December 4 from 2 -4PM

Border Grill, Downtown LA (formerly Ciudad)

445 South Figueroa Street

Los Angeles 90071

213.486.5171 (reservations)



East Los Angeles

The Brewery

Avenue 21 & Main Street (NOTE: Don’t Mapquest! Check website for directions!)


West Los Angeles

2833 South Robertson Boulevard

Los Angeles 90034


Check website for class dates/times/reservations

Chefs, Inc.

10955 Pico Boulevard

Los Angeles 90064


$60 – $80

Check website for class dates/times/reservations

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