John Gizzi and Diann Greco, the American Wine Society?certified wine judges at Make Wine With Us, teach wine aficionados to create their own wines using grapes harvested in Californian and Chilean vineyards. At the start of the nine-month process (California grapes in the fall, Chile grapes in the spring), winemakers-to-be assemble with fellow enthusiasts to learn the intricacies of the trade. Patrons learn to crush and destem grapes in a machine called a crusher-destemmer, named after the device's favorite Germanic metal band. Following the crushing process, a hydraulic press forces juice into barrels, where it shall remain until the conclusion of its sweet, sweet metamorphosis.
At the end of the nine-month period, newly minted winemakers lean on family and friends to fill, cork, and custom-label the finished product. Budding vintners then tote home their vintages to share with family, friends, and robot butlers with built-in carafes.
At Ridgewood Culinary Studio, small class sizes and a playful, hands-on approach to cooking empower students of all ages to confidently make meals from scratch. In addition to teaching youngsters basic skills such as kitchen safety and how to get out of dishwashing duty, instructors inspire adult gourmands with classes on grilling, barbecuing, and other types of cuisine. Regardless of the class or age group, instructors emphasize mindful eating habits and nutritious recipes. The commercial kitchen also plays host to summer camps, birthday parties, and business-building classes.
Let's Play in Italian exposes kids, young adults, and adults to the culture and language of Italy through engaging programs that range from preschool activities to conversational Italian classes. Tykes up to 8 years old sing songs, tell stories, play games, and put on puppet shows and craft fairs during afterschool programs and Mommy & Me workshops, absorbing Italian vocabulary during their formative years before gray matter turns angsty and taciturn. Parents and kids alike can expand their linguistic repertoire with colorful books, CDs, and DVDs from an online bookstore.
The diverse team of instructors at Key Element Learning are serious about catering to each of their students' unique interests, strengths, and needs, whether they're still in diapers or entering middle school. That's why their educational programs are so eclectic—the classes range from academic subjects such as reading and science to the more creative topics of art and cooking to ensure kids will find a class to spark their curiosity. In order to give students the best lessons possible, they also pull from popular, time-honored educational franchises such as The Language Workshop for Children, where native speakers immerse children in foreign languages through games, songs, and colorful visual aids. And Music Together instills babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with skills for singing in tune and keeping a beat, helping them build confidence at school or become the first infant drummer for U2.
Good-Life Gourmet’s is a case study in multitasking. In its open kitchen, Chef Eric, an alum of the French Culinary Institute, routinely fries his signature falafel, teaches his cooking techniques to budding chefs, and prepares gourmet catering spreads. Although Chef Eric accomplishes a lot when he’s working, he maintains a fun, light-hearted environment, playing whimsical pranks on his coworkers, who include his three brothers and a team of local high-school students.
At Good-Life’s sandwich shop, a rotating menu gives palates the royal treatment with the aforementioned falafel, sliced-steak wraps, and butter-poached lobster rolls. Meanwhile, the kitchen’s BYOB cooking classes cover topics ranging from tapas to basic knife techniques, such as how to turn two meat cleavers into a huge pair of scissors. The culinary team tailors its catering feasts to each event, and pours its remaining creativity into the pop-up restaurant, Restaurant Maize, open occasionally in locations throughout the city.
Meredith Chartier developed a love for cooking as a young girl, helping her mother, aunt, and grandmother prepare family meals. This passion stayed with her, even as she went on to become an elementary school teacher. After 10 years of teaching, Meredith's good friend––a pastry chef by trade––offered her the opportunity to create the savory portion of a sweet-and-savory soiree for a client. In doing so, Meredith discovered that cooking was truly what she wanted to do for a living, and less than a year later she launched Bellamy Kitchen.
As the chef behind Bellamy Kitchen, Meredith puts her teaching skills to use designing lesson plans for in-home cooking courses. She also builds menus for catered events and helps people organize their kitchens. She does it all with an eye toward sustainability, getting her produce from the local Catalpa Ridge Farm, composting all food waste, and using packaging that can be recycled or at least turned into a cool hat.