Pans On Fire

Pans On Fire

10 employees
16 years in business

About this pro

Since 2006, Pans on Fire has offered cooking classes in our Food Studio which is connected to our fully stocked housewares store. Most of our classes are for adults but we offer school break classes and camps for kids grades 2 and up as well. We also arrange private cooking parties for companies, families and groups of friends to share in a unique (and tasty) experience. A list of our current class offerings is available at or visit us at\pansonfire.

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Pleasanton, CA 94588
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Registration for a public class is simple--just review the calendar, select a class that interests you and sign up. If you're interested in a group event, please contact our events coordinator at (925) 600-7267.

When you arrive in class (no more than 12 people in a class), you'll receive an orientation to the class menu and a skills overview then break into small groups to work on recipes. If it's a dinner classes, you'll take a break for an appetizer round, then complete cooking and enjoy the rest of the meal with your new-found friends. You'll get a booklet of the recipes to take home and a shopping discount in the retail store for the day of the class.  

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Our instructors have some classical training but we are mostly enthusiastic home cooks who love sharing tips and techniques to help you make cooking easy and delicious. There are times you want over-the-top food, and we do offer classes like that on occasion. In the main, our menus are approachable with ingredients easily acquired locally.  

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Our pricing is on a class-by-class basis. A 3-hour public class evening program might run $69-$79 per person. We do offer demonstration and limited hands-on classes for a little as $25 per person. 

How did you get started teaching?

Pans on Fire owner Linda Wyner is a food anthropologist who received her first cookbook at age 4. By 8 she was cooking for the family and by 10 designing recipes. She has been writing on food history for nearly 15 years and teaching for the past 12 years. Linda recruits instructors who love to work with adults and kids in teaching home cooking. Some instructors have restaurant experience, others are just very talented home cooks on their own, but each has some degree of formal culinary training.

What types of students have you worked with?

almost all age groups and backgrounds, some with few cooking skills, others with lots, but everyone with a passion for learning or expanding their culinary horizons.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Our most recent knife skills class... good skills with the right knife opens the door to cooking. It's so exciting to see students ooh and ah over the simplest of cutting techniques and get excited about cooking more at home.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Choose a subject matter (Italian cooking, knife skills, French pastry) and grab a seat in a class. Don't be intimidated about the formality of a "class" or the strangers you'll encounter. And don't forget to ask questions!

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

You can always call the store for more information about a particular class. On the other hand, if you're looking for an individual private class, you'll need to figure out what you really are trying to learn (skills or cuisine, for instance) and budget accordingly. Private lessons are considerably more expensive than our public classes or private group classes.

Lessons offered

Asian Cooking Classes Baking Classes Cooking Classes Desserts Classes French Cooking Classes Italian Cooking Classes Knife Skills Classes Middle Eastern Cooking Classes Pasta Making Classes