Five best cooking schools

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Maggie Beer Farm Shop

Between lunch and another spot of wine-tasting, squeeze in a visit to Maggie's Farm Shop. At 2pm daily in a relaxed setting, a free 25-minute verjuice cooking demonstration is offered on the virtues of verjuice. Watch the team prepare chicken, vegetables or mushrooms deglazed with verjuice, or perhaps a salad with verjuice vinaigrette, then taste how this versatile product made from pressed, unfermented grapes enhances a dish.

Pheasant Farm Road, Nuriootpa, (08) 8562 4477, see maggiebeer.com.au.

Udder Delights cheese cellar

Creators of a delectable range of artisan goat and cow cheeses, family-operated Udder Delights runs a variety of lessons for the home cheesemaker. The popular premium class is held in the cellar (pictured) of a Hahndorf venue that also houses a shop showcasing award-winning cheeses and a cafe. Instruction focuses on the art and practicalities of cheesemaking, rather than the science, and all equipment used can be found in the home kitchen. The class includes an in-depth tasting session and lunch with local wines. Participants work solo and take away their own tub of quark, four fettas and a firm cream cheese.

91a Main Street, Hahndorf, (08) 8388 1588, see udderdelights.com.au.

Imma & Mario's Mercato

A visit to Mercato is like being swept into an enormous provedore in Rome, crammed with the finest produce Italy has to offer. Adhering to the old Italian proverb, "No one grows old at the table", it's only fitting this chic emporium offers weekly cooking demonstrations in its sleek open kitchen sandwiched between the pizza and prosciutto. The interactive, informative three-hour classes specialise in traditional and modern regional Italian cuisine and are led by some of Adelaide's best Italian chefs. Guests can expect to feast on a delicious three-course dinner often matched to Italian wines from small family growers.

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625-627 Lower North East Road, Campbelltown, (08) 8337 1808, see ilmercato.com.au.

Producers of McLaren Vale

Set among vines, olive groves and 500 fruit and nut trees, Producers offers real, roll-up-your-sleeves paddock-to-plate experiences. At weekend cheesemaking workshops, participants create their own ricotta and haloumi and indulge in their own mozzarella pizza - washed down with wine from the barrel. Those with a yearning to make bread or pasta from scratch can join a wheat workshop and grind their own grain. Hosted hands-on adventures include making wine, olive oil, fruit preserves and apple cider. Owners David Arbon and Tori Moreton are serious about caring for the environment and birdlife.

Branson Road, McLaren Vale, (08) 8323 0060, see producers.net.au.

Sticky Rice Cooking School

Push open the door to this exciting new school in the Adelaide Hills village of Stirling and enter an exotic world of aromatic spices, scented candles and soothing music. Owned by passionate foodie Claire Fuller, the state-of-the-art venue (pictured) offers hands-on teaching in spicy cuisines from Thai and Indian to Spanish and Vietnamese. Classes are taught by local and interstate chefs, including masters of Asian food (think David Thompson and Christine Manfield). Following a flurry of chopping, grinding and stir-frying, each four-hour class concludes with a sumptuous banquet-style feast where students dine on their restaurant-quality dishes around a communal table, accompanied by Adelaide Hills wines.

96 Old Mt Barker Road, Stirling, (08) 8339 1314, see stickyricecookingschool.com.au.

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