The Culinary Institute of America (800-888-7850) has educated some of the country's top cooks. Now enthusiasts can hone their skills in Saturday boot camps held at the Hyde Park, N.Y. campus.
Offering nine hours of hands-on cooking, the camps instruct in one of five cuisines, including Spanish tapas. Students leave with recipes, an apron, a cooking tool and a full belly.
You can find other (cheaper) programs at cookforfun.shawguides.com. Ask how much cooking students do and how big the classes are - best to have fewer than 16 students per instructor, says Dorlene Kaplan of ShawGuides.