This holiday season, why not learn how to prepare tastier food?

El Segundo Sol guacamole

While most people run from mall to mall or click madly through discount deals at online retailers, why not give yourself something that feels a tad less temporary this winter? Cooking classes aren’t just an educational excuse for a dinner out; they’re an easy way to improve kitchen skills, cut down on restaurant expenses and perhaps test the idiom that the path to a person’s heart goes through their stomach. If it’s true, after a few rounds at the grill, you’ll be Dr. Love.

Vegan Cooking Class (December 14, Whole Foods at Town Square) Sticking to a strict vegan diet is infinitely easier in the comforts of your own kitchen. Learn how to make healthy eating taste a little less like something your odd hippie aunt would try to foist on you with this one-hour class. 6 p.m., free.

Cooking Fiesta (December 18, El Segundo Sol) Goat cheese and chipotle guacamole. Crab and sweet corn quesadillas. Chef Terry Lynch teaches you to upgrade Mexican classics with a class that’s as much about sampling the results as it as about learning to create them. In other words, you’ll leave with some mean Mexican recipes and a belly full of sangria. 10 a.m, $25.

Sushi Class (monthly starting January 20, Hachi) For those who want to get their hands dirty, this intimate class with Hachi executive chef Linda Rodriguez, chef de cuisine Martin Swift and head sushi chef Fernando Luna is a great place to start. Each student will learn the art of sushi rolling at their own work station, so when you head home, you already know your way around that seaweed wrapper. 6:30 p.m., $85.

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Previous Discussion:

  • La Monja will be a Mexican-style raw bar, while Hatsumi will offer a more elegant experience, focused on traditional robata and irori grilling.

  • Head to the bar for executive chef Mark Andelbradt’s counter-only menu and prepare for a range of explosive flavors.

  • You come from the music, but you leave talking just as much about the food.

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