Attending Papa Cristo’s Cooking Class

One of the best parts of the Los Angeles food scene is simply how varied it is. Think of any culture and, chances are, there will be a restaurant or market featuring it’s cuisine. For instance, Papa Cristo’s. Founded in 1948 it’s been serving LA’s Greek community (and those who just love Greek food) for generations. I first visited several years ago and was instantly smitten. So when I discovered that free cooking classes were now being offered I immediately signed up.

Papa Cristo’s is one part restaurant one part gourmet shop so the classes feature recipes for items found on the menu using ingredients available in the store. The recipes vary from class to class and the one I attended featured Spanakopitza and Kefta Sliders. The classes are taught by Papa Cristo himself who’s enthusiasm for Greek cuisine is contagious.

Spanakopitza is a hybrid of the traditional spanakopita and a personal pizza. Using pita bread and fresh ingredients it’s a super easy yet flavorful dish. Throughout the lesson Papa Cristo shared numerous tips like the best way to dry frozen spinach (laundry bag, who knew?) and the different varieties of Kefalotiri Cheese. And whenever the opportunity arose he had us smell and taste ingredients so we would how to make the perfect dish.

The lesson continued with instructions on how to make Kefta Sliders and I found myself salivating as the ingredients cooked before us. Luckily, no lesson is complete without sampling the dish and soon we were chowing down.

Of course, they were delicious. With fresh ingredients and Papa Cristo’s handiwork how could they not be?

The lesson concluded with more wine and samples (including lots of cheese, yum!) and a 10% coupon to use in the store. After the lesson how could I not buy ingredients to make my very own dishes? In fact, that’s what I’m cooking tonight for dinner!

Papa Cristo’s cooking classes are free and a ton of fun. To sign up email and they’ll let you know of future dates.

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