While not managing multiple restaurants, The Stocked Pot and Company owner and chef Don has cultivated local TV stardom by hosting a cooking show on NBC from 1986 to 2002. He later appeared on channels as diverse as Hallmark and Sundance with celebrities including Dave Chappelle and Maya Angelou. His son and on-staff wine expert, Andrew, has acquired culinary knowledge from his travels to five continents and more than 25 countries, which steeped him in local traditions, authentic ingredients, and large cauldrons of curry. The Stocked Pot's chef-taught classes cater to all ages, experience levels, and epicurean desires. Aspiring chefs can learn to roll and construct creative sushi, properly wield a knife, or cook poultry. Printed recipes, which can be taken home, help students follow along and finally learn how to spell hors d'oeuvres. A retail store stocks tools to further aid in personal kitchens.
Falderal Winery welcomes guests into the oak-study tasting room twice a month to expound upon the scientific miracle of fermentation. Instructor and vintner Paul Kovacich, a native of the terroir of western North Carolina, wields his experience at Thistle Meadow Winery to aid the public during fermented endeavors. Paul's class covers the winemaking process, from the addition of yeast to bottling to making labels out of cartoons from the New Yorker. Reservations are recommended, as the winery caps classes at eight students.
The professional instructors at Raleigh Bartending School eagerly impart their pouring wisdom on casual learners and up-and-coming barkeeps. A four-hour mixology class gives pupils a taste of the tricks and techniques needed for successful liquid slinging in a fun, hands-on environment. The full certification course prepares students to serve alcohol responsibly, maximize tip revenue, and identify and halt bar-joke set-ups before they come to earth-rending fruition. After watching demonstrations from professional instructors, students build their bar-cred with hands-on experience, learning hundreds of cocktail recipes, business skills, and bar setup. After completing an intensive 40-hour course, graduates earn the legal ability to serve alcohol for fun and profit and gain access to the school's job-placement program, as well as the right to serve as official judicator for all small-claims bar bets. Classes operate on a flexible schedule based around student availability.
Beverly's Gourmet Foods' Beverly McLaughlin creates nutritious meals from scratch using only vegetarian and vegan ingredients, olive and vegetable oils, and unprocessed foods. Her kitchen also recycles all of its paper, plastic, glass, and canned products to help maintain an environmental footprint as small and green as a leprechaun's.
The chef's prepared dishes—pistachio crusted tofu and tomato basil pies—can be picked up at Whole Foods, at the Atherton Mill Market, or at the Mecklenburg County Market, which her grandmother helped found in 1938. People who love her food can also try to put together their own versions in Beverly's vegetarian and vegan cooking classes.
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Personal chef, caterer, teacher—there's little Chef Barry Francois doesn't do when it comes to food. He helps clients save time or plan for special occasions with custom catering that ranges from elegant brunch dishes to casual comfort food to fine-dining-style plates. In between preparing savory meals, the chef transforms his kitchen into a classroom. Those who feel utterly lost can enroll in the beginners' class, where they'll learn basic knife skills, craft sauces and marinades, and receive a comprehensive review of fresh herbs, including which ones can flush evil spirits from their garbage disposal. More experienced students who are curious about niche cooking styles may find inspiration during the Grilling and Entertaining class, which features demos on light summer sides and grilled meats, veggies, and desserts.
Whether they're teaching kids how to cook or pushing established chefs to explore new horizons, the professional instructors at The City Kitch constantly indulge curiosities for all things culinary. Specifically designed for 8–10 year olds, their Elementary Kids Camp gives kids hands-on experience in the kitchen, teaching them the basic skills of cooking and baking. But not all of the camps are for little kids; a special Celebrity Chef camp is perfect for teens who dream of one day displaying their own cakes in the Louvre. Adults can also hone their chops in courses on French cooking, wines and cheeses, and other specific culinary interests.