Executive chef Jeff Bolton’s cooking classes at the Kachina Southwestern Grill, are one of the best possible uses of $20. Held in the Santa Fe-esque space at the Westin Westminster, the classes teach, feed, quench, and dazzle 40 students. Not only does Bolton deftly demonstrate the intricacies of southwestern dishes in each two-hour class, he peppers each course with historical facts about the ingredients and helpful tips and shortcuts. Meanwhile, patrons snack on what amounts to a small meal of the included dishes and a glass of wine or beer.

Bolton’s most recent class began with three southwestern dips paired with salted blue corn chips. The appetizer was followed by a salad of fresh greens lightly tossed with a chia seed vinaigrette; a warm queso dip with pepper jack, white cheddar, and dry jack cheeses; a beautifully balanced “Three Sisters” succotash (pictured) of beans, squash, and corn; and a whole, lemony trout wrapped in corn husks and baked in a clay crust (as an alternative to en papillote).

Check out some of Bolton’s recipes here. A previous class taught class-goers the art of the agua fresca, and the next one, scheduled for December 11, promises holiday cooking with a southwestern twist.

Tip: Follow Kachina Southwestern Grill on Facebook to sign up for the December class. Spaces fill quickly.

10600 Westminster Blvd. (inside the Westin Westminster Hotel), Westminster, 303-410-5813