Holiday gift hint No. 736: Get your chef wannabe a gift certificate to learn a new dish or two. You pick the cuisine, you pay the fee, and you give the gift, but in the end, it's your tastebuds that sing a song of sweet satisfaction when your personal chef shows off his or her new skills. Think about it. Or just go yourself. Here's a list of what's coming up throughout the valley until just after the holidays are well out the door and on their way to next year.
All classes start at 6 p.m. Cost is $20-$30. Class size limited to 20 people. All classes take place at The Basque Market, 608 W. Grove St., 208-433-1208, TheBasqueMarket.com.
Holiday Tapas—Nov. 29. Learn to make a variety of tapas, including delicious croquetas, pesto torta and port-poached figs.
Spanish Sweets—Dec. 13. Who doesn't love a good hunk of chocolate? Learn to make chocolate ganache with Itxassou cherry sauce, chocolate flan and gateaux Basque.
Soup, Soup, Soup—Jan. 10. One of The Basque Market's most loved classes, you'll learn how to make three of their most popular soups: garlic, potato leek and red bean with chorizo.
A variety of chefs specializing in cuisines from all over the world frequent Easy Cookin'. All classes are held at Easy Cookin', 7121 Overland Rd., 208-323-8477, EasyCookin.com
Biscotti for the Holidays with Margie Sanders—Dec. 1, 11 a.m., $20. The evening's menu includes brown sugar cinnamon biscotti, Mom's cranberry almond biscotti, gingerbread biscotti and lemon poppy seed biscotti.
Cristina's Italian Holiday Desserts and Cookies—Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m., $50. Cristina Ceccatelli of Cristina's in Ketchum prepares desserts and cookies from her cookbook Cristina's Tuscan Table.
Feast of the Seven Fishes with Florence and Ron Pharis—Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m., $45. The feast of the seven fishes is the Sicilian tradition that puts an Italian feast on the table Christmas Eve night. The evening's menu is antipasto, seafood chowder, clams casino, roasted shrimp cocktail, zesty Italian shrimp salad, bay scallops a la mastropoll, linguine with calamari in marinara sauce, baked haddock fillets and pizzelles.
The Art of Soup with Chef Jon Mortimer—Jan. 9, 6:30 p.m., $45. What's for dinner after all the fuss of the holiday season? How about soup? Jon Mortimer's menu this evening includes "starchless" cream of broccoli soup, easy tomato basil soup, corn and roasted pepper chowder, smoked salmon bisque and lemon chicken soup.
Let's Do Sushi with Ikuko Minami—Jan 19, 6:30 p.m., $45. Originally from Osaka, Japan, Ikuko learned to make sushi in her Japanese kitchen with her mother and sisters. The evening's menu includes temaki sushi, maki, California roll, nigiri sushi, Japanese sweets (served but not demonstrated), sake and green tea.
Romantic Italian Dinner for your Amore with Jason McLenna—Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., $40. Get ready for Valentine's Day with the executive chef from Spurwing Country Club. The night's menu is goat cheese tarts, chicken pesto tortellini bake, Gorgonzola sirloin steak and tiramisu.
Food Network Top Prize Award Winning Chicken with Michelle Anderson—Jan 30, 6:30 p.m., $40. Anderson won the first prize purse of $100,000 with her recipe for chicken in the Food Network's Food Challenge. The evening's menu includes savory Thai dumplings with cilantro dipping sauce, zesty green curry soup, Thai inspired chicken stuffed breast.
Roth Concept Center
Jon Mortimer of Mortimer's hosts monthly classes at the dream kitchen design center. Classes start at 6 p.m. Cost is $35. Reservations are required and seating is limited. All classes are at the Roth Concept Center, 9328 W. Overland Rd., 208-378-4616, RothDistributing.com.
Pizza with Wolf Bake Stone—Dec. 17. Learn to make all the bits and pieces of a great pizza, including Mortimer's pizza dough, tomato and basil pizza sauce, and the perfect white sauce and discover numerous pizza toppings and variations.
Seafood Recipes from Mortimer's—Dec. 21. Do your seafood recipes need a little something new? Learn to make halibut with lobster mashed potatoes, seared ahi with Thai vegetable slaw and wasabi, sauteed seafood salad and potato crusted salmon with rattatouille.
CHF Cooking Classes
Classes are taught by Ryan Lancaster. Kids ages 4 to 18 can also attend CHF's Young Chef's Academy. For more information, call 208-939-2550. Community cooking classes are held at CHF, 104 S. Orchard, 208-343-7769, ShopCHF.com.
Kids' class—Dec. 1, 2-3:30 p.m., $10. Kids ages 8-12 learn to make peppermint hot chocolate mix, sure-to-please sugar cookies and raspberry swirl mini cheesecakes.
Christmas Dinner—Dec. 17, $40. Get some new ideas for your traditional Christmas dinner with cheese strata with roasted chicken and tomatoes, twice-baked cheese and chive stuffed potatoes, green beans with vermouth and shallots, Tuscan rib-eye roast and raspberry chocolate parfait.
All classes are held at Superb Sushi in the Idaho Building, 208 N. Eighth St., 208-385-0123, SuperbSushiDowntown.com.
Sushi and More—Dec. 11, $55. Start off with salmon and shiitake mushroom infused miso soup and Asian slaw salad with mandarin orange slices and macadamia nuts.