I have been taking a good number of excellent hands-on cooking classes at this place called Culinary Communion: http://www.culinarycommunion.com
They have a branch in West Seattle and a branch in Snoqualmie. The owner-instructor, Gabriel Claycamp is a great, funny guy who has an encyclopediac knowledge about food and its preparations.
Gabe graduated at the top of his class from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY (the most prestigious cooking school in the USA). After that, he was the sous chef at the Tasting Room in Manhattan (one of the top restaurants there, with the largest all-American wine list on the eastern seaboard), and then moved to Seattle to become the executive chef at Anthony's Homeport. Deciding that he would prefer to teach and impart his vast storehouse of cooking knowledge, he started Culinary Communion.
My cooking skills have improved tremendously as a result of this class, and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who is interested in taking cooking classes.
Classes are typically 3 hours long, and start out with a lecture by the instructor, followed by the hands-on preparation of several dishes that are chosen to allow practice on the topic being taught. At the end of the lesson, students and instructors sit down to have a meal together, enjoying the food that they prepared. All this, plus wine during the class and the meal, comes up to $70 per class which is very reasonable IMO, especially considering that the meal is restaurant-quality.
I'm looking forward to taking the advanced cooking skills series this fall. Maybe after that, I'll open my own restaurant! :-)
If you ever take classes with them, tell Gabe or Heidi (his wife, the business manager) that Bertrand sent ya ;-)