Located in the historic West Adams neighborhood, Cashmere Bites’ loft-style industrial kitchen stands out from its surroundings thanks to a large, cherry-red door. Inside the modern studio, stainless steel and blond-wood counters support students as they learn to craft satisfying meals during three-hour classes that use local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Sessions typically focus on specified regional cuisines or food for special occasions, such as football Sunday or tomato-fight Saturday. The instructors also host private cooking parties and travel to homes for more intimate lessons.
During the 90-minute techniques class, you and another person will have the rare opportunity to observe a chef in its natural environment as the culinary wizard offers a demonstration on a given subject. Each class concludes with a small tasting at the end, offering a response to the puddles of mouthwater that will have gathered on the floor by that time. Upcoming mini-skills class topics include summer-baking techniques on May 23, offering a solution for cooks long crushed by the quandaries of cobblers, crumbles, and crisps; canning on June 20, to help preserve summertime treats from the advances of time and army ants; and tomatoes on July 25, with tips on sauces, chutneys, preserves, and recipes using the apple's cooler cousin. Groupon users can also apply this deal toward two spots in one of Old Town Cooking School's wine-styles classes ($50) and pay the $24 difference out of pocket.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.
When other kids played in the street, imagining lives as astronauts or cops, Leslie McKenna played in the kitchen, already a chef in her heart. Her childhood passion persisted, earning her a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, praise in the pages of Bon Appétit for her pastas and desserts, and a job as Bob Hope’s private chef. In 2005, she decided to share her love with a new generation of aspiring culinary artists, so she founded Chefs, Inc. as a place to learn, cook, and have fun.
Today, her school hosts a wide array of cooking classes, when it isn’t occupied as a film set by shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker. The classes range from Julia Child’s classic French recipes to a dipping-sauce course focusing on grilled and fried eats slathered in custom condiments. She even teaches a knife-skills class, preparing students to slice and dice food like a professional, quickly chopping money or deftly cracking the fruit of the money tree to reveal the paycheck inside.