New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

Sometimes even the most adventurous Garden State couple just wants to keep it super laid back, cozy and at home. The choice for date night simplicity can lead to a most fear-instilling question … What’s for dinner?

Not all of us are good in the kitchen. Learning a few cooking skills and picking up a few new recipes will help. These cooking classes in the Garden State will definitely keep you engaged and focused, and might provide a few unexpected laughs. Even if you know your way around the kitchen, taking a cooking class as a couple is a super stand-alone date night that will prep you for that date night at home.

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night where you go to the head of the class!

Farm to Fork Fantastic

When you think of taking a class, shopping and eating probably don’t come to mind, but Heirloom Kitchen provides an experience that’s educational, tasty and unforgettable. From enjoying a meal in their dining room to checking out the expertly sourced kitchen and tabletop items in their store, you’d think you’d forget all about learning, but you certainly won’t. 

Located in Old Bridge, the classes are posted on their website one month in advance and they fill up quickly.  Some of the upcoming classes include “Pat LaFrieda Dry-aged Steakhouse” focusing on the ins and out of preparing the perfect steak along with delicious side dishes and “Date Night Pasta,” where you’ll learn how to create three dishes from different Italian regions.

For more information on Heirloom Kitchen, visit

Putting the Super in Supper

You love shopping there and you’re going to really love learning new skills when you and your date take a class at the Kings Cooking Studio. Located in the Kings Supermarket in Short Hills, you’ll find a very detailed and diverse syllabus filled with many tasty options. 

Their “Springtime in Paris” class in April will teach you the skills to prepare cheee puffs, wild mushroom soup and chive-and-roasted herb-crusted chicken. Or check out their two-part techniques class in March where you’ll learn how to make things including soups, quick breads, herb-infused butters, roasted foods and butterscotch cookies.

For more information on Kings Cooking Studio visit

When in Rome

You don’t have to be from Italy to prepare a tasty Italian meal thanks to your new friends at Healthy Italia. This Madison-based cooking school is where you’ll learn cooking skills from native Italians with a strong passion for bringing Italian flavors and culture to our country. 

From their pizza and beer class to their homemade pasta workshop, you and your date will be the superstars of your kitchen! Be sure to check out the “Main Dish Mania” class, where you’ll learn several main dishes guaranteed to wow your friends, and each other!

For more information about Healthy Italia, visit

Serious Learning, Serious Fun!

Classic Thyme in Westfield is the place to go for learning new culinary tricks and having a great time doing it. Under the direction of Chef David P. Marcone, you’ll find an assortment of innovative classes sure to make you and your date want to come back for more. 

Perhaps you’ll be tempted by the home artisan bread making class, where you’ll learn how to bake classics like garlic herb braided bread, swirled loaf bread and bacon and Vermont cheddar scones. Or try a class on international meatless main dishes and discover the ins and outs of making foods like Mexican portobello burgers with chili mayo, and garlic zucchini tomato mozzarella pie. Discover how to make the perfect saffron-scented paella during their Seafood Feast from the Mediterranean class.

For more information on the Classic Thyme, visit

The Couple Who Learns Together

Taking a cooking class will teach you new things all the while taking you both out of your normal routine.  You’ll also have the opportunity to meet other couples and you’ll be totally prepared the next time your love says, “What’s for dinner?”

The biggest take-away might just be discovering the importance of doing something new in a place that’s different. That alone could be the best recipe of the night!

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at


More Date Night Ideas:

The Steaks are High

Making the Most of Chinese New Year

Lettuce Eat Salad

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