The Art of Cooking

Before the summer ends leave the Hamptons with more than great memories

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Few vacation destinations are as synonymous with food and entertaining as the Hamptons. With famous residents that range from new-school hospitality mavens, like Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow, to the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten, it’s difficult to even imagine a trip to the East End without spending a great deal of time pondering what and where you’ll eat and drink. And if a delightful meal out simply isn’t enough, perhaps you’d like to bring some Hamptons hospitality home with you: sign up for a cooking class, and master the gracious style of beachfront entertaining. Whatever your style, there’s a cooking class out there for you, from classic Hamptons fare to tools-included demos to kid-friendly culinary adventures to a Long Island road trip perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon escape.

For a pure-bred Hamptons experience

East Quogue’s Stone Creek Inn is the heart of what the Hamptons are all about: a chic setting, a polished chef, and a globally influenced menu of locally sourced cooking. Their exclusive cooking classes with Chef Christian Mir make for an afternoon of leisurely learning, with seasonal fare and wine pairings for $125 per person. If you’re looking to recreate your vacation at home, these classes will give you all the tricks you need, with a healthy dose of warmth and hospitality. Visit stonecreekinn.com for reservation information. (405 Montauk Hwy., 631.653.6770)

For a hands-on demo (and the tools to go with it)

If you want to go home with more than just know-how, a stop at Williams-Sonoma in Bridgehampton is a must. There, you can pick up everything from chef-approved knife sets to single-subject cookbooks, with an ongoing array of free technique classes and chef-driven cooking classes meant to help you put your new wares to work. Cooking classes also include a 10% same-day discount on in-store purchases, meaning that you can learn some new tricks, then bring home the tools to put them to work. (2044 Montauk Hwy., 631.537.3040)

For budding chefs

Whether you’re traveling with little ones or staying with a friend whose family is growing, there’s no reason to leave the kids out of the kitchen! At the Children’s Museum of the East End, fun “In the Kitchen” classes get Hamptons chefs working from a young age – two to four, to be exact, with recipes expertly suited to their talents and tastes. Balsam Farms provides the seasonal, organic produce while you and your little munchkins provide the enthusiasm, every Wednesday morning at 9:15 and 10:15 throughout July and August. (376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Tpke., 631.537.8250)

For an afternoon road trip

Perhaps it’s too brisk to brave the beach, or a rain storm has blown into town, or you’re just plain sunned out. In any case, a road trip to Huntington’s Bravo! Nader is a perfect alternative: their monthly Sunday cooking classes cover accessible recipes designed with home chefs in mind, and if you’re traveling with a group of 14 or more, Chef Nader will put together a private cooking class just for you. “Tuition” is $100 per person, and includes the cooking lesson, plus food; unlimited wine, beer, and soda; the restaurant’s famous napoleon for dessert; and coffee, cappuccino, espresso, and tea. (9 Union Pl., 631.351.1200)