These Utah food and wine classes can take you from beginner to ‘foodie’

Hone your skills in the kitchen or just gain confidence in your own palate.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Francis Fecteau, a wine instructor, shows customers various features on a wine label during a class on pairing wine with food at Caputo's Market & Deli in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

The world of food can seem like it’s surrounded by unscalable walls to people who don’t consider themselves “foodies.”

There are hundreds of “genres” of foods, each with their own traditional ingredients. There are names for every cut of beef and pork, every different flick of the chef’s knife, every fish used in sushi-making, and every baking technique.

How do you learn which wine goes with some foods but not others? How do you learn about the more obscure ingredients on a cocktail menu? How do you learn to cook if you didn’t learn while you were growing up?

Luckily, your food education can begin right now, right here in Utah. There are professionals in all areas of food that welcome beginners and are ready to share their expertise. Below, you’ll find workshops and classes that offer education on many food-related topics. Hone your skills in the kitchen or just gain confidence in your own palate, all while learning about everything from macarons to pork chops.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Francis Fecteau, a wine instructor, discusses a wine label with customers during a class on pairing wine with food at Caputo's Market & Deli in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Beltex Meats

If you’ve ever wanted to learn about different cuts of pork, dive right in and learn how to butcher an entire pig at Beltex Meats’ whole hog breakdown class, usually taught by the shop’s head butcher, Philip Grubisa.

Beltex Meats, at 511 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, sources all its meats locally from small ranches and farms in the area, Grubisa told The Salt Lake Tribune. The animals are always pasture raised, and free of antibiotics, steroids and added hormones.

Beltex prides itself on using the entire animal in its butchering, “which is different from your grocery store setting,” Grubisa said. The class begins with a demonstration of half a pig being butchered, and then students are invited to do their own slicing and dicing on the other half.

Charcuterie, beer and wine are included in the $160 fee for the 3 ½-hour class, and students will leave with a 5- to 7-pound bag of meat that they cut themselves.

Grubisa said the point of the class is “teaching people where their food comes from.”

Each class is limited to 10 people, and they’re offered about once a month. Sign up at BeltexMeats.com.

Caputo’s Market & Deli

Caputo’s — with locations in downtown Salt Lake City, in the 15th & 15th neighborhood, and in Holladay — is a prized source for fine cheeses, chocolate, cured meats, oils and vinegars, small-batch bitters, tinned seafood, dried pasta and so much more. Its selection represents hundreds of food producers around the world, and it’s often the place where home cooks know they can get that one special ingredient.

But Adri Pachelli, senior manager and director of education at Caputo’s, wants people to know that you don’t have to be a foodie to shop at Caputo’s. In fact, you can be the complete opposite.

If you don’t know your gouda from your taleggio, you are welcome to get right up to that cheese counter and ask to taste a sample of both. If you feel overwhelmed when you walk in, Pachelli said any Caputo’s employee would be happy to give you a tour and answer your questions.

Caputo’s was founded in 1997 on the idea of “bringing people in rather than making people feel pushed away,” she said.

In addition to shopping, Caputo’s also offers a variety of classes, everything from a chocolate- and cheese-tasting class, to courses on hard cider, disco-era cocktails, gin, tiki drinks, wine and special classes that are designed to be tours of Italy and Spain.

Prices usually range from $40 to $65 per class; register at Caputos.com.

(Bethany Baker | The Salt Lake Tribune) Assistant manager Marta Villalobos speaks during a class on pairing wine with food at Caputo's Market & Deli in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Harmons Grocery

If you thought Harmons was just a grocery store, think again. The local high-end chain has an entire cooking school, with a slate of classes that range from “Building a Better Charcuterie Board” to “Macarons 101″ to “Spring Break, Teen Chef: A Pizza the Action!” and many, many more.

The classes feature cuisines from all over the world and multiple styles of cooking, and are taught at Harmons locations in Station Park (Farmington), Bangerter Crossing (Draper), Holladay Market, Mountain View Village (Riverton), City Creek (downtown Salt Lake City), Traverse Mountain (Lehi) and in Santa Clara in the St. George area.

At Harmons cooking classes, students will be working together in small groups in a hands-on setting, and get to taste what they whip up.

Classes usually range from $35 to about $125; register at HarmonsGrocery.com.

Salt Lake Culinary Education (SLICE)

Even if you have no plans to become a professional chef, you can still learn at Salt Lake Culinary Education, at 2233 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, through their many different types of recreational classes.

If you’re wanting to not only eat dinner with a date but also cook together, the Date Night classes might be up your alley.

If you have a child who’s curious in the kitchen and over the age of 9, they may enjoy one of the Junior Chefs classes.

If you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, the basic knife skills classes might be for you.

And if you want to finally crack the code of a specific food like sushi, Indian street food or lasagna, there are specialized workshops available.

Nicole Marriner, who handles events and marketing for Salt Lake Culinary Education, said attendees typically leave their classes with renewed confidence in the kitchen and inspiration to cook more at home.

Classes range from about $85 for individual classes to $210 for couples’ classes; register at SLICEUtah.com.

Scion Cider Bar

If you’ve ever had a glass of hard cider and wish you knew more about the complex beverage, this class taught through the University of Utah’s Continuing Education program is for you. It will be taught by certified pommelier Matthew Ostrander, at Scion Cider Bar, 916 S. Jefferson St. in Salt Lake City.

The class, happening Monday, April 22, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., is called “Ciders of the World: Spanish Sidra” and will educate attendees on ciders from Spain’s Basque and Asturias regions.

Tuition is $39, plus a special fee of $45 for the cider and space rental. Register at Continue.Utah.edu.

Snuck Farm

Snuck Farm — founded in 2015 by owner and managing director Page Westover on family land in Pleasant Grove, at 504 W. 1100 North — offers several workshops to the community based on what’s in season.

Despite the farm’s limited space of 3½ acres, it produces herbs, veggies, cut flowers and more, which show up in classes like Seasonal Drinks: Spring Edition. Most classes are beginner-friendly but fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve your spot soon. Workshops are taught by instructors in the community who are considered experts in their field, Westover said via email.

“It’s my hope people come to the farm and feel inspired to live healthier, more sustainable lives,” Westover said. “And that they enjoy some peace and joy while eating great food and relaxing in a beautiful space.”

One-time classes range from $75 to $90; prices increase for season-long workshops. Register at SnuckFarm.com.