The seasoned and passionate chefs at Classy Kids Cook helm after-school cooking classes ($45/class) designed to teach burgeoning culinarians, age 4–18, how to create their own healthy creations from scratch. During these fun and interactive classes, students will learn how to follow recipes and properly measure ingredients in the well-stocked kitchen space, sizzling up healthy dishes devoid of junk food or Play-Doh cardamom. Teachers guide participants through a new dish each class, so it’s a good idea to peruse the class calendar before reserving a spot. Past dishes include sausage-cheddar quiches, minestrone soup, turkey-avocado club sandwiches, and 400-foot sculptures of Martin Fillmore made out of sautéed asparagus.
While not managing multiple restaurants, The Stocked Pot and Company Executive Chef Don McMillan 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, and Turner South and Fox Sports South, with celebrities including Dave Chappelle and Maya Angelou. His son, President, owner, and on-staff wine expert, Andrew, has acquired culinary knowledge from his travels to five continents and more than 28 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.
The Butchers Market, formerly The Meat House, specializes in gourmet proteins, from all-natural filet mignon and marinated chicken breasts to cuts of lamb, veal, and pork. For more than a decade, the butcher shop has been serving each cut of meat alongside a satisfaction guarantee, along with hearty bread, cheese, and more than 100 varieties of wine.
The display cases brim with marbled cuts of Prime and dry-aged beef as well as chicken breasts in lemon-pepper or sun-dried tomato marinades. When available, the butchers also slice cuts of venison, alligator, or boar. The Butchers Market's prepackaged rubs and marinades fill the air with the aromas of garlic, peppercorns, hickory, and molasses.
Cafe Liardi’s cake-decorating workshops fulfill frosting fantasies with explicit instructions for turning humdrum baked goods into towering masterpieces. Throughout the six-hour Saturday session, owner and Chef Gailyn Gagliardi walks students through the basics of design, such as forging fondant adornments, gum-paste flowers, and icing subliminal messages, as they design their own three-tier cake. After production, each student leaves with a recipe booklet crammed full of Chef Gagliardi’s confectionary secrets, as well as their completed cake in a complimentary carrying case. In addition to a wealth of sweet knowledge, Cafe Liardi supplies a continental breakfast, gourmet lunch buffet, and in-between snacks to keep charges' energy up and ensure steady-handed misspelling of frosting-scrawled congratulations. Call or email Cafe Liardi to confirm dates and reserve a spot.
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.
In Good Taste Cooking School's Chef Julie trained at La Varenne culinary school in Paris, and now passes on her gastronomic expertise to adults and children in classes. Whisks hiss against bowls and utensils clatter briskly onto marble counters as pupils learn to prepare cupcakes, appetizers, and full meals in the home kitchen. As the aromas of fresh herbs, lemon zest, and roasting chicken fill the room, knives slice through produce with increasing confidence, and students gradually learn to tune out the weeping of onions. Culinarians of all levels identify and work with cool sprays of rutabaga, dill, fennel, and basil, crafting dishes that have included salsa verde, succotash, and rhubarb crisp. Julie also leads camps during the summer and hosts parties for birthdays, garden clubs, and graduations.