Cooking at home can be a chore. Cooking with chef John Gonzalez, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America, is one of Williamsburg's finest—and most fun—vacation activities. The experience starts off right, with hors d’oeuvres, sparkling wine, and a little music. Then the serious cooking—and eating—begins. Classes are designed for those who want to learn both new techniques and recipes, but you don't have to be a Top Chef to participate: even those who can barely wield a butter knife are made to feel comfortable (and given tasks they can handle). Menus change monthly (they're posted on the website); a recent one featured Tuscan peasant soup, salad with pears and candied pecans, Gulf shrimp with leaks and fennel, roast rack of pork with truffled spaetzle, and carrot cake, paired with wines for each course. Reservations for one of the 27 seats are most definitely required; participants take the recipes home with them.