The Practical Chef
The Practical Chef schools fledgling foodies in an approachable environment with the added benefit of certified executive chef Craig Nassar's years of gourmet know-how. Hands-on classes ($65¬–$90) include all necessary ingredients and equipment—saving you the trouble of transporting your industrial-grade meat tenderizer by city bus—and offer a delightful repertoire of beginner and intermediate techniques open to all experience levels. Basic Cooking Techniques gets newbies up to speed on the nitty-gritty of browning meats, whipping up sauces, cooking grains, roasting root vegetables, and cooking leafy greens, while the katana-sharp Knife Skills class trains slicing sempais to mince, dice, and julienne with dignity and honor. Upcoming tutorials include pasta workshops, where students learn to fashion a variety of fresh noodles and seasonal sauces from scratch—an ethereal substance made from leprechaun hair, comet dust, and the residue of one’s first kiss. The Enticing Tapas class, meanwhile, covers an array of small plates provocative enough to inspire even the most bashful schoolmarm to flamenco her way across the gas range. At the end of each class, ravenous students get to feed on their freshly prepared meal before toting the recipes home for later replication.