Dinner and a Show: A Night at Living Social DC Cooking Class

What did I say when Living Social DC asked me to be their guest at my pick of one their hands-on cooking classes?

 Absolutely yes!LS_Logo_Color_4

I think cooking classes are  fun way to get ideas and freshen your skills in the kitchen.  In grad school I volunteered at a cooking school in Chapel Hill  (which means I cut up a lot of vegetables and poured quite a few glasses of wine)  so I could attend as many classes as I wanted.

If you’ve never been to a cooking class and you like to cook or to watch cooking shows on TV, you’ve got to try it.  It’s dinner and a show and I guarantee you’ll leave having learned some new tricks.

I surveyed Living Social’s extensive offerings and picked Cooking with Bourbon, a class led by Chef Matt Finarelli. Why bourbon? Living Social graciously let me bring a guest and I knew this one would go over well with my guest, Joe, and I’ve been on a cooking with spirits kick lately (remember Bourbon Banana Pudding?)

Living Social DC Ext

We arrived at the lovely 918 F St. location and were escorted upstairs into the class kitchen.

A tip: if you’re taking a cooking class and want to have a glass of wine with your meal, check out their basement bar, the Speakeasy, before class. You can bring drinks to class (we didn’t realize this going in and the cooking class lasted about 2 and a 1/2 hours without the chance to get a drink besides the bourbon punch they served that was a touch too sweet and didn’t seem to have much kick to it.)

Soon the class was full, with 50-60 people by my estimate in the large, modern space.  DSC_0040

The room is well-designed with cameras hooked up to TVs and the instructor wears a mike so every last person can see and hear his instructions.


Chef Matt led the way with demonstrations and step-by-step instructions.

His love for cooking and food was immediately apparent as were his teaching skills; no question was too elementary.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.  To start,  we posted up at our station with its own gas burner and massive cutting board.


Thanks Living Social for the great front row seats.  IMG_9114

Everything was well-organized.  Each station had a laminated copy of the recipes and all the ingredients and utensils we’d need for each recipe.  The Living Social team was helpful and friendly; they never stopped moving,  busing our stations, refilling waters, and fixing any cooking goof-ups.    Thanks Molly for being kind when we slightly messed up our chocolate pies because we were taking pictures and not paying attention! DSC_0106

So what were we cooking, you ask?

Here’s the menu: (click on the dish to see Chef Matt’s recipe)

 Juicy Bourbon Sesame ShrimpDSC_0045











our finished product


and Chef Matt’s


Then we moved onto the main course of Smoked Pepper and Bourbon Beef Chili, full of these peppers that made the room so smoky that everyone was coughing up a storm.




Our side was Sweet Potatoes DSC_0183


with a maple bourbon glaze.  DSC_0225



 And finally, individual Chocolate-bourbon Pecan Pies with whipped cream. DSC_0039




pecan dotted crust doughDSC_0135




I had to do a little repair to one of my crusts


Our pies have a “rustic” lookDSC_0455

Everyone had a good time and enjoyed the food.DSC_0143

Can you tell I’m happy to be back in cooking class and sporting my sparkly Sperrys?

Thank you Living Social for hosting us and thanks to Chef Matt for a fun night and a good meal!IMG_9100

Check out a cooking class at Living Social’s 918 F Street location!   The stations are set-up for two people to work together, so it makes for a great date but there were plenty of folks who were attending by themselves.

If cooking isn’t your thing they have a variety of other offerings including fitness classes, beer tastings and wine/painting classes.


  1. It was my pleasure to host/teach you all, and I am so thrilled you all had such a good time! It was a great class that night, and your photos look lovely and delicious! You are of course welcome back to any of my classes any time! 🙂

    • Thank you! We had a great time and I’ll be making those sweet potatoes for my new in-laws this Thanksgiving in Ohio!
      Hope to see you at a class soon and best of luck with your new addition 🙂

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