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Always wanted to go to cooking school, but never had the chance? Now you do, without the commitment or giant price tag.

Whether your palate is whetted for sushi or homemade cheese, Culinary Education Crawl on Capitol Hill is a weekend of twenty-five cooking classes that will have you impressing family and friends at Thanksgiving, holiday potlucks and even game-day snacking tables. Check out the full course offerings and sign up online.

On November 14, 15 and 16, the neighborhood will become a cooking school campus, where you can build a schedule like you did in college and live out your cooking school dreams.

Learn new recipes taught by guest chefs in top Capitol Hill restaurants. You’ll also discover the backstory behind the restaurants you love the most, and ones you’ve never tried before.

While Barracks Row is the main spot for the classes, this year, there will also be a North Campus, near Eastern Market, and a South Campus at Capitol Riverfront. Classes are easy to get to on foot, by bike, by car or from Eastern Market or Navy Yard Metros.

Sign up now to get spots in classes that interest you the most and impress the whole family this holiday season with your newfound culinary skills.

The preceding post was sponsored by the Culinary Education Crawl.

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Duck confit (Photo via Flickr/adactio)If one of your New Year resolutions is to become a better cook, then the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital might be the place for you.

This month, the community center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE will offer a variety of cooking classes to delight your inner foodie.

On Jan. 15 and 29, Gérard Pangaud, a 2-star Michelin chef, will teach how to make a classic French dinner of three courses: endive, avocado, beet and goat cheese salad; macaroni and cheese with duck confit and wild mushrooms; and his mother’s chocolate cake.

On Jan. 16, Chef Wendi James will take you through making some favorite Thai dishes: green papaya salad, chicken satay with peanut sauce, beef in red curry with rambutan and broccoli, and coconut bananas.

On Jan. 17, Jose Adorno of  the 6th Street NW restaurant Graffiato will explore Italian-inspired cooking. The menu will include a carpaccio duo, Caesar salad, roasted cauliflower, roasted red snapper, hand-tossed pan pizzas and coconut ginger flan.

The January offerings will wrap up with Bill Schindler, an associate professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College. He will teach how to best use animal fats in your cooking. Participants will learn how to make butter, render lard, roast marrow bones to make marrow butter, make goose confit and make the salumi called lardo.

The class costs range from $65 to $85 per person. Those who are interested can register at hillcenterdc.org.

Photo via Flickr/adactio

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Chef George PagonisThe D.C chef in the running to win a “Top Chef” title will train a small group of cooks on the Hill.

George Pagonis of the Greek restaurant Kapnos will teach a Northern Greek cooking class at the Hill Center this spring, the institution announced.

Pagonis — who appears on “Top Chef: Boston” episodes airing now — will show about 18 cooks how to make easy Greek dishes.

“I’m thinking about doing an Easter-inspired dish. Maybe roasted leg of lamb and moussaka,” he said, noting that he’ll look to spring vegetables for inspiration for the March 7 class.

Northern Greek food differs from the seafood-based dishes of the country’s coastal regions, Pagonis, 31, explained.

“A lot of the dishes that we do are meat-inspired. A lot of roasted meats and hearty filo pies,” he said.

Appearing on “Top Chef” has been a great experience, the Alexandria resident and fluent Greek speaker said.

“The hardest experience has been to keep a secret this whole time,” he said about episodes that were filmed this spring. “I was just counting down the days and the weeks until it aired.”

Signups for the cooking class at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) can be made online. The three-hour class costs $85 per person.

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Hill foodies will soon be able to learn some tricks of the trade from chefs on Barracks Row.

Cooks at 8th Street SE restaurants including Medium Rare, District Doughnut and Belga Cafe will participate in a lineup of Culinary Education Crawl classes on Nov. 15 and 16.

The classes offer immersion learning for beginning and experienced chefs alike, according to Sharon Bosworth, spokeswoman for Barracks Row Main Street, which is organizing the event.

Here are some of the highlights:

Shuck oysters at Senart’s — Senart’s Oyster and Chop House will run an all you can eat lesson in oyster shucking. It’s been one of the most popular classes of the crawl in previous years, Bosworth said. “Oysters shucking is just a dazzling moment,” she said. “It seems like one of those things that everyone — maybe from cave days — wants to know how you get the thing open.”

Cook a modern Mexican meal — Agua 301, the sister restaurant of Zest, will teach participants to make sautéed shrimp in a chipotle cream sauce, rice, and sweet potato and butternut squash mash with truffle oil.

Learn to make doughnuts — District Doughnut will train sweets lovers in making their popular doughnuts. “You will get undivided attention from the chef,” Bosworth said. Participants will take home an “ample” supply of doughnuts,the event website says.

Make the perfect steak — Medium Rare will give a step-by-step lesson on how to make classic dishes perfectly. The session will start with salads, move on to grilling steaks and then try french fries.

For information on prices and the full lineup of classes, see the event website.

Photos courtesy of Barracks Row Main Street

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