Miss A Columnist

Ashley Marie Sneed is currently a chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte*, and has been cooking in restaurants and hotels for over six years. Her culinary talents stem from a passion for food and wine, and her desire to share that with the rest of the world has led her to pursue a career in writing. Her experiences range from dining to cooking to cultural immersions in Europe and Asia and domestic meccas such as New York, L.A. and Chicago. She loves cooking at home for friends and family, indulging at local restaurants, blogging about her culinary adventures and preparing meals for a new and upcoming personal chef company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ashley is a Ritz-Carlton employee, but not an official company spokesperson. The opinions and positions expressed are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ritz-Carlton, LLC.

Cooking Classes In Charlotte

Fried Zucchini Blossoms, Photo by Ashley Sneed

Looking to acquire some culinary knowledge without taking the plunge into culinary school? Maybe you’d like to impress your family with the non-proverbial weeknight dinner? Or maybe it’s your friends who you’d like to astonish with a few fancy hors d’oeuvres? Or maybe you are simply looking for a nice night out on the town where you can drink some wine and actually be involved in the preparation of your own meal. Either way, Charlotte offers up numerous opportunities to fulfill your needs. From restaurants to specialty food stores to professional-quality cookware retailers, monthly cooking classes are being offered and, quite frankly, these spots are the places to be.


Blue Restaurant

Executive Chef Gene Briggs brings us cooking classes on the first Saturday of each month from 11am-1pm. Participants learn how to prepare some of his most popular recipes using the freshest of “farm to table” ingredients. His next class is a little different than usual: a picnic/cookout that focuses on tapas from Spain. Some of his other classes include titles like “Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes,” “Tour of Eastern Europe,” and “What a Cheesy Class–Dishes Prepared with Great Cheeses.” I’ve been to this restaurant more than a handful of times, and if the classes reflect what I’ve experienced, this will be more than just ordinary.


Blue Restaurant
206 N. College Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
Ph. 704-927-2583 (call for reservations)

July 9: Picnic and Cookout Tapas from Spain, $39.95 per person


Harper’s Restaurant Group

Harper’s Group has a slew of enticing restaurants, but my favorites are Mimosa Grill, Upstream, and Zink. Their respective Chefs, Jon Fortes and Scott Wallen (of both the latter two) make up a clan of masterminds. Mimosa has the southern flair; Upstream is a seafood mecca; Zink is an all-American kitchen. These classes are offered on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. for a more than reasonable $35 (unless otherwise noted). They include tastings, beverages, and recipes to take home and share. What a steal.


Mimosa Grill
327 S. Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28282
Ph. 704-343-0700 (call for reservations)

July 9: The Great American Cookout, $35 per person


Seared Scallops with Succotash, Photo by Ashley Sneed

6902 Phillips Place
Charlotte, North Carolina 28210
Ph. 704-556-7730 (call for reservations)

July 16: Farmer’s Market Dinner, $60 per person


Zink American Kitchen
4310 Sharon Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28211
Ph. 704-909-5500 (call for reservations)

July 30: Alaska’s Sustainable Seafood, $35 per person


The Gallery Restaurant in Ballantyne Hotel

Ballantyne’s swanky Gallery is upscale and offers monthly classes that reflect so. The 10:30 a.m. Saturday classes begin with continental breakfast, freshly-squeezed juices and your choice of Mimosa or Bloody Mary. If that isn’t enough to get you out of bed, imagine experiencing the bounty of North Carolina like you never have before. Ballantyne Hotel is one of Charlotte’s few luxury hotels, and with the direction of Chef de Cuisine J. Kelly Morrow and Executive Sous Chef David Moore, you’ll leave feeling as pampered as if you had experienced one of their renowned spa treatments.


The Gallery Restaurant
Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge
10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway
Charlotte, North Carolina 28277
Ph. 704-248-4100 (call for reservations)

July 23: Junior Chef’s Academy (for kids only), $40 per person

August 20: Peak Season Local Products, $75 per person


Reid’s and Williams-Sonoma

Both of these specialty food stores are in the loop–cooking classes are “in.” Without skipping a beat, Reid’s newer Myer’s Park location still offers cooking demonstrations. Because the location is still fairly young, their schedule is not yet posted on their website. Call for dates and pricing. William-Sonoma has twice monthly classes that last about two hours long and include demos, samples and printed recipes. Times and prices vary by store, but between their Southpark and Birkdale locations, they should offer plenty of opportunities that fit into a busy schedule. Bonus: Participants receive 10% off of store purchases on the day of the class.


Reid’s Fine Foods
2823 Selwyn Avenue
Charlotte, North Carolina 28209
Ph. 704-377-1312 (call for more information and reservations)


Williams-Sonoma – Southpark
6401 Morrison Boulevard
Charlotte, North Carolina 28211
Ph. 704-364-8886 (call for pricing, times and reservations)


Williams-Sonoma – Birkdale

16740 Birkdale Commons Parkway
Huntersville, North Carolina 28078
Ph. 704-895-8331 (call for pricing, times and reservations)

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