Cook With James, cooking teacher

Cook With James

Cook With James 5.0 (20)
19k

James grew up on a 50 acre horse farm near the Salinas Valley. His great grandfather emigrated from Yugoslavia into the Central Valley and started an apple farm. His grandfather later moved to the very fertile Salinas Valley and started one of the first produce companies. It was called Sun Harvest. My mother raised us mostly on local fruits and vegetables though there was still the occasional cooking “out of a can” given the generation. Canned beets! The one thing we always had was a bowl of fresh fruit, cut up and put into a bowl for us before we went to bed.

James earned a masters in Spanish literature and linguistics through Middlebury College and lived in Spain for two years. He later entered into the technology business and worked at various advertising agencies in San Francisco over a 12 year period. Along the way he started cooking as "therapy" for his corporate day job. CookWithJames was created 15 years ago as an underground supper club. James would prepare multiple course regional Italian and Spanish dinners in his home for guests and friends. James staged at Quince restaurant after they opened in 2004, and has also lived and cooked in both Italy and Spain. After leaving his day job in advertising in 2009 James launched CookWithJames as a full-time business, offering private sit-down dinners as well as cooking class parties for all occasions.






Classes





Reviews

(20)



Christina Cowan Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



We had a wonderful time! James was an amazing host and gave us a night to remember!


Shannon Shelby Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



Had a great time. Very interactive and informative. Great atmosphere, will definitely sign up for another class.

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi review by Shannon Shelby Sydney


Becki Cowan Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



James was organized, relaxed and knowledgeable. The atmosphere in his home was beautifully appointed and inviting. He let us settle in and began when we were all ready to learn. He shared bits about his journey and passion for Spanish and Italian cooking and was a good listener when one of us wanted to share our own culinary experiences. We got to take turns using our hands to prepare the dough and create the gnocchi. We all enjoyed the entire experience from the delicious charcuterie ready when we arrived to dessert and chocolates after the salads.  + more


Luke Taylor Jun 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: Cooking and Conversation



James was great, very hospitable and welcoming us into his home to cook an amazing meal. Raw ingredients were excellent and led to the best paella I've ever had. I think the class could be improved slightly if the students were able to be more hands on and take the lead cooking with guidance by James, but we still learned a lot and will be trying to make our own paella at home soon. Thank you!


Rajan Ladhwa Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



Chef James is just amazing! Do yourselves a favor and book this experience. James is an excellent host and we had a ridiculously good time with him. Far and beyond our high expectations! Thanks James for hosting an incredible team cooking session and dinner!


Michael Langbein Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



Enjoyed this class a lot and will make much better gnocchi now. Thanks a lot!


Ameya Borwankar Jun 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



The class was quite educational! James is a great teacher and gracious host. Throughout the class James peppered useful cooking tips and tricks that helped us while cooking gnochi. He has an intimate dining space as well, where we enjoyed all of the food, which didn't take long because it was so delicious!

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi review by Ameya Borwankar


Suvita Viswanathan May 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain



It was a great class. We absolutely enjoyed our evening of learning and eating great food!


Chetan Verma May 2022

Neapolitan Pizza Making Class



We went to James' place as a team and make Neapolitan pizzas with them. James is a great host and we loved the time we spent there. He makes sure the vibe is relaxing and fun and is great with engaging in conversations and sometimes letting people chat among themselves if it's a private group. The food was delicious and we learnt many tips and tricks for making pizzas! Definitely worth the time and the money, will recommend strongly!


Mark Ciopyk May 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain



James was unbelievably kind, fun to talk to, and very informative. I look forward to not only trying the recipe at home, but reserving our next time with him.


Claudia Guerra Apr 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain



Great experience with chef James. We were a small group of 4 people and we felt at home during the class and experience. We learned how to cook paella over great conversation amongst friends. If you would like to have an amazing intimate evening immersing in the Spanish food and culture, I absolutely recommend it.

Cooking workshop review by Claudia Guerra


Sarai Gallegos Mar 2022

Neapolitan Pizza Making Class



Delicious, knowledgeable, and such a fun time. This was a great way to celebrate my fiancé’s birthday. Chef James made us feel so welcomed and we learned so much!


Amanda Priest Feb 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Sardinian Gnocchi



Chef James was the best! We prepared a delicious gnocchi in his adorable kitchen. He provided delicious nosh to start before we dove right in. He was super interesting and fun, would highly recommend anyone check out his classes :) they're well worth it!


Christina Vailas Feb 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain



This was a super fun evening in a beautiful setting. The food was delicious and Chef James was very welcoming and a great host!


Marissa Pardini Jan 2022

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain



This experience was great! James was extremely knowledgeable. I went with my Dad and we had a blast. The food was delicious and it was really interesting to learn about the background and history of the food.

Spanish Cooking Class: a Night in Spain review by Marissa Pardini


Lauren Williams Jan 2022

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



We had a wonderful experience learning how to make gnocchi and preparing and eating a delicious meal with James. We felt right at home when we walked in and were greeted with a lovely appetizer spread. James was a delight to talk with, and we enjoyed his company and learning about the food we were making. He had a lot of interesting knowledge to share. We will definitely be back to take another class with him in the future and will recommend this to our friends.


Michael Poole Jan 2022

Neapolitan Pizza Making Class



thanks Chef James for a super fun evening of pizza making/eating in your lovely home! Learned a lot and looking forward to putting new skills into practice. Highly recommended! MP


Lorenzo Calvani Dec 2021

Neapolitan Pizza Making Class



We had a great time making pizza with James. He is extremely knowledgeable and he's an amazing teacher. Love his passion! A+


Aileen Appe Dec 2021

Neapolitan Pizza Making Class



The class was fun and Chef James was very personable, knowledgeable, and made everyone feel included. He also prepped a delicious spread for us to start the evening, a really nice touch!


Mein Roger Jul 2021

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi



Chef James was amazing, being hosted in his charming home we immediately felt like family. His kitchen was an excellent workspace for our hands on cooking instruction. Chef James started us off with an variety of appetizers including cheeses, and charcutier board. We brought some wine, and Chef James also provided some wine. Great way to start this adventure into Italian cooking. Every step of the  + more

Italian Cooking Class: Rustic Potato Gnocchi review by Mein Roger Sydney

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