Posted May 12, 2013 by Natasha Lees in Blogs

The Dirty Apron Cooking School – Part 1

“Vancouver’s Favourite Culinary Playground”

The Basics

The Dirty Apron Cooking school is one of Vancouver’s top places to cook, dine and turn the heat up. This venue is the ideal place for anyone of any type of cooking level to explore and enhance their culinary skills.  The owners, former Chambar Sous Chef David Robertson and his wife Sara, have been passionate about culinary delights and dishes for years and David has an extensive amount of experience in classic French cuisine. David also teaches most of the classes held at the Dirty Apron and there are some special classes that are taught by celebrity Chef’s and other culinary pros like Vikram Vij throughout the year.

Students at the Dirty Apron Cooking School learn basic cooking skills and put them to use while creating popular mouth-watering cuisines such as Italian, Thai or Hawaiian. Students can partake in 2 1/2 hour hands-on classes, 4 hour hands-on classes, educational tasting classes and they can also join the gourmet boot camp.

Even though the thought of your kid or teen working with kitchen knives may disturb you, kids and teens can also learn how to cook under the supervision of a teacher.  If you are looking for teenager-friendly camp programs for the summer, why not enrol your teen in the Summer Teen Cooking Camp where they can learn basic cooking techniques and knife skills, as well as a few of the Dirty Apron’s signature dishes. Looking to encourage more team work in the work place? Try out the Dirty Apron’s teambuilding class or the corporate/private hands-on 4 hour class. Your employees will learn to work together to create culinary masterpieces.


When students take part in the cooking classes at the Dirty Apron, they use only the best when it comes to cookware. The Dirty Apron’s partnerships with Sub Zero Fridges, Wolf Ranges, All Clad Cookware and Wusthof  Knives has made it all possible. The Dirty Apron also has a delicatessen that offers the public a scrumptious menu during the day, catering services, gifts for that food lover in your life and group events.

Three Highlights That Make This Experience Unique

  • There are a number of classes to choose from including gastronomic inspirations from Italy, Thailand, France, Hawaii, Spain and more.
  • The Dirty Apron offers classes that focus directly on seafood, meat, vegetarian dishes, grilling and more.
  • Perfect for a date night! The Dirty Apron has a class called ‘It takes Two’ which is just for couples and can be a great way to break the ice or celebrate an anniversary.

Classes Provided by The Dirty Apron Cooking School Include

  • The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker: A Night of Cooking and more
  •  Ocean Fling: The Ultimate Seafood Class
  • Meat Eaters Unite: The Meat Class
  • Ooh La La: The French Class
  • La Cucina Toscana: Tasting Tuscany
  • BC Dine and Vine: A Celebration of Local Flavours
  • Mamma Mia! The Italian Class
  • The Brunch Bunch
  • San Sebastian Tapas: Small Plates from Spain’s Birthplace of the Tapa
  • Ocean Potion: The Seafood Class
  • Sea to Sky: Ocean Deep and Mountain High
  • Foodie Favourites: Crafting Decadence
  • Hawaiian Nights: A Culinary Tour of the Islands
  • Crabs in the Bucket: A Three Course Crustacean Tasting Menu
  • It Takes Two: A Class for Couples
  • Viva La Vegetarian: The Art of Vegetarian Cooking
  • Singles in the City: Food Lovers Unite! (for gentlemen)
  • Singles in the City: Food Lovers Unite! (for ladies)
  • On the Bone: Braise, Roast and Grill
  • Get Your Grill On: The Ultimate Grilling Class
  • Guest Chef: Vikram Vij
  • The First Step: The Knife Skills Class
  • No Place Like Home: The Uniquely West Coast
  • And more!

Tips for Visitors: Some Things To Know Before You Go
If you are going for a 4 hour class at the Dirty Apron, make sure you have a snack beforehand. While the Dirty Apron is hospitable with some small treats and drinks before you start the cooking class and during, you might need a little more for energy as you won’t be eating your first course for awhile. Don’t forget to take your camera so you can capture each culinary masterpiece you create before you gobble it up! Wear comfortable shoes as you will be standing for certain periods of time while cooking.

Our Experience at the Dirty Apron Cooking School

My sister Samantha and I were invited to try out the Mamma Mia Italian class which was so much fun. When we first arrived at the Dirty Apron Cooking School we were greeted with a warm welcome and some light snacks, as well as a glass of bubbly.  We had 18 people in our group and everyone seemed eager to get into the kitchen and start cooking Italian dishes. After our snack of humus, olives and bread we moved to the main kitchen and demo area.


Our teacher Takashi Mizukami was a delight and had a great sense of humour during our class. He began by teaching us how to make Lemon Pannacotta so we could create that first and get it into the fridge for setting. As it was my first time taking a class like this, I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the other students. I was completely wrong as every item that is needed for the recipe is laid out and portioned in front of you and everyone moves at their own pace. The chef moved around the room offering us tips as we cooked and every time we made a new dish, we could just leave our dirty dishes to be picked up by the Dirty Apron’s very own elves! Our dirty dishes would be gone by the time we returned to our stations and new recipe items were presented to us.


Our second creation was making pasta dough from scratch. Not an easy task I must say! We then turned the pasta into Arugala Goat Cheese Ravioli with a Walnut Sage Sauce which was scrumptious.  Unfortunately I missed one step in the ravioli making and mine pretty much fell apart when I placed it in the pot to cook. But it still tasted wonderful! Then we moved on to the Grilled Lamb Sirloin with Ricotta Herb Gnocchi and Morel Sauce which I was ultimately pleased with. My lamb sirloin came out perfectly and I had no complaints with my new culinary skills this time around.


Then after enjoying our main course, we were able to top off our meal with our very own Lemon Pannacotta which was creamy and decadent. Along with the meal, you could choose white or red wine, non-alcoholic sparkling wine and beer.


My Final Thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit at the Dirty Apron Cooking School and I personally cannot wait to learn how to make more of the Dirty Apron’s signature dishes. I believe the school can offer students the chance to increase their confidence level in the kitchen and allow them to unleash their inner chef. I am going back in July for the couples ‘It Takes Two’ class with my beau, so I will be back with my experience update on this magnificent cooking school and the culinary experiences they provide.


Dirty Apron Cooking School
540 Beatty Street, Crosstown
Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3
Tel: 604-879-8588
Website: www.DirtyApron.com

Natasha Lees

Natasha Lees
Natasha Lees is a dedicated and professional travel copywriter with over 16 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry. Some of her past and current roles include the New York Times travel channel on About.com, Trivago, Sunwing Vacation Group, WeddingVacations.com, Mastercard Caribbean, Princess Cruises, CanadaTravels.com, Escapes.ca and a variety of other worldwide travel media resources.