About The Class

All classes include learning how to prepare healthy menu items, as well as sampling creations. At the start of class, participants will receive a brief introduction to recipe stations, ingredients, and equipment to be used. Participants will then have the option of selecting which recipe(s) they would like to explore. As participants prepare their selections, the chef moves between groups to provide guidance, answer questions, and impart information about the ingredients and techniques being used. As participants enjoy their culinary creations they are encouraged to share their cooking experience with other participants.

All classes are held in the instructional kitchen located within the Wellness Enrichment Suite on the second floor of the Herbert Wellness Center.

About Chef Mercedes

Chef Mercedes Varela-Mendez joined the Herbert Wellness Center family in the fall of 2010.  She happily returned to the University of Miami where she previously worked at the Diabetes Research Institute for 25 years.  Although always a ‘Cane at heart, Mercedes’ passion for food led her to fulfill a lifelong dream of honing her culinary knowledge at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami, Florida. Her cooking approach shows through her love and commitment to food that is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, as well as through sharing her enthusiasm with others.

Cooking Class Schedule

The current cooking class schedule can be found on the schedules page.

Unable to attend a class? Check out our recipe archive from past classes!

How To Register for a Class

You can register in-person by visiting the Herbert Wellness Center sales office located in the Wellness Enrichment Suite, over the telephone by calling 305-284-5433, or online. The Sales Office accepts cash, checks, and credit cards (Visa, MC, AMEX).

Students and Members $20
Non-members $25
Private Cooking Classes

Interested in holding a private cooking class for a group of friends or special event? Student organizations, University of Miami departments, and non-UM affiliated community members are welcome to schedule a private cooking class for their group. Groups work directly with a chef to select their menu. Price varies based on the number of participants, duration of the class, food costs, and UM affiliation status.

How to schedule a private cooking class:
Students, Faculty, and Staff
Community Members (including UM Alumni and other UM-affiliated who are not current students, faculty, or staff)

Please call the Wellness Suite at 305-284-LIFE (5433) to learn more.

Notes: The Instructional Kitchen is closed during the summer months (June-August).  Kitchen space is not available for use by outside chefs.

Cancellation Policies

The Herbert Wellness Center reserves the right to cancel a cooking class one day prior if the minimum number of registrants is not satisfied. In circumstances where the Herbert Wellness Center is unable to provide a scheduled class, all monies paid will be returned or participants have the option of selecting an alternative course.

Participants must cancel their registration at least 24 business hours prior to the class in order to receive a full refund. Participants who fail to cancel within this time period will not receive a refund. Transferring registration to a future class must also be done at least 24 business hours prior to the class in order to receive a full refund. If a participant is unable to attend a class, their registration is transferable to another person; however, the original participant must notify the Wellness Suite of the transference prior to the class.

Children ages 13 and older are welcome to attend a cooking class. No prior cooking experience is necessary to participate.