Students at CulinAerie learn cooking techniques from chefs with extremely impressive resumes. The chef-instructors here include Rachael Harriman, who has worked for such famed chefs as Thomas Keller at California’s The French Laundry; Kaimana Chee, who appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Masterchef in 2012; and Gerard Panguad, who at 28, became the youngest chef ever to win two Michelin stars.
At Casa Italiana, an Italian language and culture school, students prepare four recipes—examples include mushroom risotto or frutti di mare—in three-hours, then sit down and enjoy their creations. One 10-week cooking class is conducted in conversational Italian, and introduces complete beginners to the language and various Italian regions through food.
The seasoned and passionate chefs at Classy Kids Cook helm after-school cooking classes designed to teach burgeoning culinarians to create their own creations from scratch. During these interactive classes, students ages 6–17 will review, learn, cook, and devour recipes, sizzling up dishes devoid of Play-Doh cardamom. Teachers guide participants through themed classes such as Now, That's Italian, Science in the Kitchen, or Fall Farm to Table Cuisine; schedules change monthly. The class makes sure to cover cooking safety and etiquette, including knife skills and proper equipment usage. An open start time, which allows classes to begin before 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., ensures after-school drop-offs enough time to work on a 300-pound cupcake decorated like a baby panda.
The masterminds behind Authentic Bartending School of Maryland dedicate their resources to creating a new generation of mixologists by offering comprehensive training programs and job-placement services. Emphasizing background knowledge and practical skills, the instructors who lead he hands-on courses aim to teach attendees a slew of drink-slinging techniques, including how to mix basic cocktails, craft fruit garnishes, and make a cash register spell "hello" when turned upside down. During the nationally recognized TIPS training, they'll show students how to responsibly serve patrons and defuse risky situations with intoxicated customers. The folks in job-placement services then help graduates seek out potential openings by networking with alumni and bribing senators to keep prohibition off the books.
The chefs at Go Cook Vegan value healthy eating that is also healthy for the environment. As the name implies, they craft menus that are entirely vegetarian and vegan, and they use pesticide-free, organic produce sourced from local farmers' markets and co-ops to do it. Their menu includes nutrient-packed wraps, salads, appetizers, and small plates, but they accommodate custom requests as well, whipping up vegetarian and vegan dishes to suit all palates.
However, the chefs don't confine themselves to the kitchen: They also travel throughout Landover and Columbia, Maryland, to lead custom, small-group cooking classes. The sessions bring friends together while introducing them to an array of vegan and vegetarian cooking techniques. Sessions might focus on growing vegetables or cooking vegan or gluten-free meals, or introduce kids to fun and simple cooking techniques beyond making Play-doh noodles. Each class ends with a farm-to-table gourmet meal, during which guests are welcome to sips of complimentary wine and mimosas.
A native Washingtonian and graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Oliver Friendly founded the company three years ago by offering in-home cooking lessons. If you opt for the personal cooking lessons, the knowledgeable Friendly will show up at your kitchen bearing all the essentials (tools, local produce, and meat) and know-how necessary to whip up a wonderful meal.