How to turn your Netflix binge into an exciting new hobby 

By Maisy Menzies | Contributor


When cold weather sends a coastal chill across Southern California, it seems like there’s no place cozier than our couches with a remote in hand. And with so many binge-worthy reality and competition shows on TV — from “The Great British Bake Off” to “Blown Away” — you might be heading into 2022 with a burning desire to learn something new. 


Whether it’s learning a delicious skill or cultivating an artistic talent, nothing says the new year like a new hobby. But while it can be hard to find ways to turn these fleeting interests into real-life passions, don’t let nerves stop you from breaking out of your comfort zone. 


To make it easier for you to fulfill your New Year’s resolution, here’s a guide to some of the best places to start your journey. These classes are perfect for those with no experience and will leave you with an impressive ability to fill 2022 with excitement, beauty, and maybe even some tasty treats. 



Sure, you know how to make a simple pasta dish or scramble eggs for breakfast, but you’re ready to develop that basic ability into a tasty talent. Take an in-person class at one of Sur La Table’s OC locations and you’ll be making a gourmet meal like beef Wellington or lobster ravioli in no time. With experienced instructors, small class sizes and a fully stocked workstation, Sur La Table’s classes offer a personalized educational experience where you can ask questions and receive help in real-time. If you prefer to cook from the comfort of your home, Sur La Table also has virtual classes that provide the freedom to learn complicated recipes and culinary techniques at your own pace. Get the whole family involved in learning to make tamales or have a romantic date night learning to cook a delicious pan-roasted chicken. In-person classes start at $59, virtual classes start at $29 per household.




If you want to learn one incredible dish that will blow your friends and family away at dinner parties, try a virtual class from Eatz. You can whip up meals like ravioli from scratch or learn to cook with tequila, all with guided instruction to help you through every step in the process. You’ll leave each class with a new recipe in your back pocket and the skills to replicate the dish the next time you want to impress your guests. The company’s virtual cooking courses can also help you turn that passion for good food into a professional skill. If making one dish just isn’t enough, Eatz offers a condensed culinary school course that teaches you all the building blocks to become a great chef. During the series of five classes, you’ll learn everything from how to use your knives to how to make sauces, soups and even pizzas from scratch. Virtual classes start at $35, culinary school series starts at $250.




Nothing pairs with cold weather quite like a warm baked good fresh out of the oven. If you want to learn how to fill your home with the delicious scent of fresh croissants or a tasty pie this winter, Sugar by Sarah is a great place to start. The LA-based bakery offers virtual classes to create all the very best baked treats, from individualized pies to cookies to English muffins. Many of Sarah’s classes are open to all ages, perfect for partnering up with your little one to make buttery, flakey pastries that the whole family can enjoy. Sarah’s instruction makes it easy to follow along and get in-depth guidance on how to successfully execute recipes that can be difficult to tackle solo. Virtual classes start at $15.




For those wanting to learn how to make gourmet-style baked goods, The Pastry School in Tustin offers the ambiance and environment of a prestigious culinary school with no experience required. You might arrive not knowing how to bake a simple cupcake, but when you leave, you’ll have all the tools and instructions needed to create some of the most complicated and delicious treats around. Lessons led by gifted chef instructors provide guidance on how to make complex desserts like vanilla strawberry macarons or French eclairs. And even better, the next time you want a gourmet treat, you’ll know how to make it at home. Three-hour single-day lessons start at $110.




Glass blowing seems like a daunting skill to pick up, with dangerous elements like torches and open flames used to manipulate the shape of the glass into something incredibly beautiful. At Venice Glassworks, instructor Ernest Miranda wants to make it as easy as possible for people who have never touched tools to learn the ins and outs of this craft. Classes at Venice Glassworks in Venice Beach are available for all age groups, including young children with parental supervision. These intensive classes offer a comfortable, guided environment and you’ll leave with a beautiful glass piece to show for your time. Four-hour private lessons start at $300, with per-person prices decreasing with a larger group size.




After almost two years of being cooped up at home, we all need a reason to get glammed up. Whether you are going to dinner or spending a night in, Blushington’s virtual makeup classes will provide you with the tools needed to produce the perfect look for any occasion. Take a one-on-one class to receive individualized tips and tricks on how to elevate your everyday makeup look to professional quality. You can also make it a party with a group class or book a session for tweens and teens who want to explore makeup artistry. While it can be nerve-wracking to pick up a brush or eyeshadow, Blushington can teach you techniques to accentuate your individual beauty and make your at-home makeup routine pop with perfection. One-on-one classes start at $45, group classes start at $120 for 60 minutes and two guests.