At Young Chefs Academy’s long, stainless-steel counter, diminutive cooks press their heads together, working sunshine-hued dough through a pasta roller or peering at recipes. The bank of ovens spills the scents of cooking sweets, and gaggles of young adults meander into teen classes, ready to gain culinary skills or bother a librarian by listening to blenders at maximum volume. Some weeks, the school concentrates on the recipes of a particular chef, with past sessions focusing on the works of Julia Child and Jamie Oliver. As holidays approach, the recipes turn towards the pumpkin-infused confections that define Halloween or the slow-roasted baskets traditionally eaten on Easter.
With a dollop each of love, joy, peace, and patience, Little Hands Cookie Company enriches young lives with creative baking sessions bringing parents, children, teachers, and community members together with fresh ingredients and tasty morsels. Sixty-minutes of drop-in baking and cookie decorating includes icing, sprinkles, and an apron and chef's hat, allowing youngsters to bake and decorate their delicious treats in batter-proofed style. Each dessert progeny walks away with a tummy filled with wholesome sweets and a new skill set perfect for wowing the critics at the teddy-bear picnic.
Serving central Pennsylvania for more than 37 years, The Kitchen Shoppe educates aspiring and experienced culinarians in a broad range of topics, many of which are hands-on. The spacious facility hosts hundreds of cooking classes every year, each taught by a professional chef or cookbook author. Upcoming demonstration classes include a collaboration between Victory Brewing Company and Chef Ryan Clay, where the chef will prepare beer-infused menu such as swordfish with sauteed shrimp in a Victory Prima Pils sauce ($59), and a From the Spring Kitchen Garden class ($59), where gardener and author David Hirsch will demonstrate Spring-themed recipes such as Provencal White Beans w/Aromatic Herbs & Fennel from his newest cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden Book. Hands-on courses invite home cooks to explore new cooking techniques, from preserving fruit ($39) and making potato and cheese-filled pierogies from scratch ($49), to learning baking basics and creating themed meals such as the I’ve Got the Blues dinner, which sates cerulean-seeking stomachs with blue corn crab cakes, cilantro blue cheese slaw, and braised blue suede shoes ($59). With class sizes limited to 32–50 people, all participants have the opportunity to ask questions of the knowledgeable staff, request guidance from friendly instructors, or just share their custom-airbrushed R2-D2 apron with fellow space opera epicureans.
Baltimore Health Coach knows that a person’s time can be just as valuable as his or her health. So bulk up your cookbook with speedy meals by grabbing a seat on April 10 for The 15-Minute Meal System, where you’ll witness six cooking demos followed by an interactive discussion and irresistible tasting. You’ll leave with the recipes and the confidence to prepare any one of the dishes demonstrated by your instructor, plus you'll be free to add your own variations, like toothpick-and-marshmallow satellites or magazine plates to cut down on dishes. Or satisfy your curiosity about a little-known specialty confection at The Raw Chocolate Class on March 27th.
Chef Apple, who has spent years preparing dishes for various celebrities and diplomats, doles out sage cooking advice in her kitchen classroom, teaching apprentices how to roll seafood during two-hour sushi-making classes on Saturdays and Sundays. After doling out bamboo sushi mats, mounds of rice, compliments on shiny hair, and an assortment of fillings such as avocado, crab, and tuna, Chef Apple guides students through the sushi-making process. Novices slice fish and vegetables, gingerly spread rice across delicate seaweed sheets, and convert the combined ingredients into a convenient tubular form. At the end of the class, students depart with bellies full of food, a full suite of sushi-making equipment, and a bottle of sake to enliven culinary gatherings or tea parties.
In order to make a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients, you could travel to a local farm, pick some produce, then combine all the ingredients and hope for the best. Or you could just hire a personal chef from PlateDate, a business with a roster of professionals who prepare meals in the comfort of your own home.
Clients simply go online to select a date and build a menu, then they sit back and wait for their chef to arrive. Using their own fresh, local ingredients and the homeowner's cookware, the chef will whip up a meal that may include gourmet dishes such as pan-seared sea scallops, roast pork tenderloin, or ricotta-and-spinach gnocchi. The result: a professionally-prepared dinner for friends, family members, or neighbors who smelled the aromas and let themselves in through the kitchen window.