By Betsy Natter

It seems that every January people evaluate their relationship with food. Weight loss centers and fitness clubs run sign-up specials. Calorie counting apps get downloaded to phones and grocery stores have reduced prices on Special K and other low calorie food options. Some people want to lose weight, but others simply vow to eat better, perhaps moving away from fast food toward healthier, balanced options. If you are looking for a new take on your meals at home, want to learn how to cook some specialty dishes or are searching for some new places to enjoy a great meal consider these options offered by Montgomery County businesses.

Cooking Classes
Cooking Spotlight
609 Village of Eland, Phoenixville, PA 19460
(610) 933-0500

At Cooking Spotlight you can be hands on or watch a demo, but you will always learn something new about meal preparation from one of the many class options offered. Local chef/instructors teach participants how to make pasta, stews or a variety of regional dishes or provide instruction on knife techniques or wine and food pairings. The venue can also be booked for team building events or private parties. The online calendar lists each month’s course offerings. Classes may be booked at

Sur la Table
690 West DeKalb Pk., Suite 2068 King Of Prussia, PA 19406
(484) 612-0046

More than just a kitchen store, Sur la Table also offers culinary lessons for aspiring chefs of all ages. Learning basic bread making, master macaroons or try a new global dish. Special titles include Girls’ Night Out and Date Night classes. Participants can sign up for a demonstration or hands-on formats. Classes are designed on several levels for adults, teens, kids or for families to cook together. The venue also hosts special events and private parties for showers and birthdays. Attendees receive a discount for purchasing items in the store the day of the class. Monthly offerings and sign up details are available at

Really Cooking with Robin
138 W Germantown Pk., Hillcrest Plaza Shopping Center
East Norriton, PA 19401
(484) 674-7748

Robin Dillman offers a personal touch to her community cooking school, encouraging her students to cook creatively and explore in the kitchen. A variety of classes are offered for all ages and include safety skills, nutrition information and equipment tips. Choose from Healthy Junk Food, Soup for the Soul or Iron Man III – Cast Iron Cooking class options. Kids can enjoy an after school cooking club or summer camp options as well. For class details and other options such as birthday parties, corporate team buildings events or fundraisers, visit the website at

If you prefer to relax and have someone do the cooking for you, plan to visit Amber Restaurant Week, January 16 to 23. Each year, over a dozen of Ambler’s eating establishments offer special menus, discounts and prix-fix options. RSVP to the event’s Facebook page and be entered to win one of several gift certificates. Restaurants range from casual to high-end. Visit the Ambler Main St. information page for a listing of the town’s restaurants and click through to preview menu specials and pricing. Due to the popularity of the week, reservations are recommended.

Finally, grab a special bottle from local vintners to compliment your new cooking skills or to take along to your favorite BYOB eating establishment. Find some new favorites at the Winter Wine Festival on Sat., Jan. 14 at the Courtyard® by Marriott® Philadelphia located at 1737 Sumneytown Pk., Lansdale. The event runs from noon to 8 pm, but tickets are sold in two hour sessions to eliminate crowding. All guests will get a wrist band at check in and enjoy samples of wine and spirits up to one ounce pours, as permitted by PALCB regulations. Tickets are $25 at the door or call (610) 584-1155 to order tickets in advance. 

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