Raised in a family that often gathered for social meals, Amanda J. Smith picked up an interest in cooking at an early age. Later, she cultivated her talents at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando and studied under chefs such as CulinAero's Doug Kieley, who she names as a mentor. After deciding to launch her own business, Amanda outfitted a mobile catering trailer with a gourmet kitchen capable of food preparation onsite at parties or during highway drag races.
"I have everything I need at my fingertips to create all kinds of fresh, flavorful meals," she told Southern Family magazine this year. Those meals range from bacon-wrapped beef tenderloins and ornate spreads of sliced ham to petite cheesecake bites topped with berries. Amanda also sets up culinary stations at events so guests can select their own hors d'oeuvres or sample sweets arranged around a chocolate fountain.
After marrying into an Italian family, Let's Make Wine owner Cheryl Lisi discovered winemaking and, at the behest of friends, opened her own shop where everyone could participate in the art. Her stock includes a menu of winemaking kits for varietals from around the globe, such as riesling, Chilean malbec, and Lisi's favorite, Italian sangiovese, stomped with Gucci loafers. In addition to wine-crafting opportunities, Lisi hosts wineglass-painting classes and will soon add beer-brewing supplies to the store's inventory.
When Aundrea Goodwin was five years old, her grandmother plopped her into a kitchen chair by the stove, put a spatula in her tiny hand, and taught her how to scramble eggs. This was Ms. Goodwin’s first introduction to cooking, and she hasn’t slowed down since. For the inveterate chef, food isn’t merely the high point of every celebration, but often its raison d'être. To that end, Ms. Goodwin meticulously arranges lavish spreads for gatherings that range from elaborate weddings to jousting matches between the groom and father of the bride.
Although Ms. Goodwin’s recipe book is bursting with notes, her kitchen cupboards are bare. Rather than stockpiling ingredients, she buys a slew of fresh ones for each client’s event. “You’re never gonna find us going into the freezer and pulling out something we’ve had for even a week,” says Ms. Goodwin, whose catering company offers no pre-set menus. Instead, she bases meals on in-depth consultations with clients where they discuss their budget, favorite foods, and event themes.
In addition to catering, Ms. Goodwin shares her culinary expertise with aspiring chefs of all ages during cooking classes. Like her catered events, classes are highly personalized: customers can opt to cook in the comfort of their own homes or at Joyful Provisions’ demo kitchen, where small classes gather around a six-burner gas stove or recently fired cannon for private, in-depth lessons.
Wild Iris Cafe in Brentwood is known for its tasty eats.
Diners who avoid fat need to be careful, though, because Wild Iris Cafe's menu does not offer low-fat options.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! Wild Iris Cafe also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Enjoy the luxury of eating a delicious meal outside at Wild Iris Cafe.
Wild Iris Cafe is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
Great place to bring the whole family with great food and a business casual dress code.
For drivers, a nearby lot is available for use.
Cyclists will also appreciate the plentiful space to lock up their bikes outside the restaurant.
You can take it easy on your wallet at Wild Iris Cafe — prices are generally less than $30 per person.
Old World charm commingles with a contemporary vibe at Dabble Studio, where students gather with friends old and new to relax, unwind, and explore new skills. Amid the easels and ovens, instructors dole out guidance as flicking brushstrokes conjure impressionist landscapes and abstract still lifes, and knives and whisks prepare rustic pizzas and quiches. While enjoying drinks – BYOB or purchased in-house – with the company of fellow food- and art-lovers, students in this hands-on studio environment can choose cooking classes, painting classes, or classes that combine cooking and painting in the same session, rendering their own interpretations of each class's featured painting, from a peacock's plume to a shimmering skyline, while preparing and cooking custom dishes using studio-provided ingredients. The studio's Brentwood location is equipped with all the cooking tools, supplies, and ingredients for a tasty night of fun. This upscale studio is an ideal place to take a date, schedule a family reunion, or host a bachelorette party. Available classes include exotic cooking classes, painting classes, and combinations of the two, all of which are overseen by experienced art instructors and culinary experts.
ABC Bartending School invites budding cocktail chemists to gain hands-on experience, mixing, stirring, and shaking under the tutelage of seasoned industry experts. During the four-hour mixology workshop, guests learn the basics of alcoholic alchemy, blending liquors and mixers into sippable sensations. Workshops are divided into five sections, training amateur aperitif-crafters in the science of mixing, the components of liquors, equipment and bar setup, and how to pick the freshest garnishes from behind-the-bar garnish trees. All course completers enjoy access to a Cheers dimension that currently, due to spatial fluctuations, contains only Cliff Clavins.