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.
For the chefs at Home Run Cooking, being in the kitchen isn't just a necessary part of everyday life, but a fun and engaging adventure. This is the kind of attitude they aim to inspire in their students, whether they're experienced adults looking to learn a new dish, or curious kids aiming to up their lunchbox game. Classes cover a wide variety of topics, from pairing the perfect wine to go with a homemade dish to constructing the perfect summer salad that will stave off winter forever. Events are also built into cooking classes, such as Singles Night, where you can meet local singles while preparing a meal, and a BYOB food and wine date night.
Cuisine Type: World cuisine and locally produced wine
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Team building events and cooking demos
Alcohol: Wine Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Food pairings are gourmet bites specific to the wines selected. Learn how to pick the right wine.
What made you want to work with food? When did you first develop that passion?
Owner, Victoria Hanko, first got involved in working in the food industry as a sous chef at an upscale restaurant in Baton Rouge, LA. After this, she embarked on a different career path, but always maintained a high interest in learning and practicing new recipes. In 2012 she decided to offer others opportunities to learn how to prepare different types of food in a fun and entertaining environment.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
Our team building events are a great way to have an evening of fun, collaboration, and some friendly competition resulting in a delicious meal that all teams enjoy together.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Cooking Spotlight, along with our associated Village Wine Spot, provides fun and entertaining events with excellent food and wine. Our facility which seats up to 60 people offers a variety of events from cooking classes, chef demonstrations, team building and private parties. Our cafe which we will open in June 2014 offers a fresh health-oriented menu for breakfasts and lunches.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We offer world cuisine tailored to the specific class, event, or special wine pairing. We source fresh local ingredients whenever possible and uses other high-end ingredients. Our cafe offers breakfast and lunch with a fresh health-oriented menu sourced locally as available with plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans. The wine we serve in Village Wine Stop is from Crossing Vineyards of Bucks County, PA and is also vegan.
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.