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.
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.
In order to make a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients, you could travel to a 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, 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.
Skilled cake decorators and sugar manipulators lead classes at Mother of Cakes, teaching at-home bakers how to create lavish desserts for special occasions. Some of their sweet and savvy talents have landed them televised appearances on Cake Boss, Food Network Challenge, and Shipping Wars. Their students tackle hands-on sessions that range in subject matter, from cake fundamentals for beginners to advanced courses that teach budding artists how to mold whimsical creations such as edible shoes.
Influenced by her upbringing in Sierra Leone—where the food culture emphasizes local, artisanal ingredients shared by neighbors—Jeanette Warne guides small groups of adults, teens, and kids in themed cooking classes geared toward age group. In how to-style classes, budding chefs learn such fundamentals as how to cook with wine, how to prepare classic French dishes, or how to tell the difference between a baguette and a baseball bat. The class lineup also covers specializations, such as pastry-chef techniques and cooking for specific dietary needs. Courses typically yield 3–4 dishes.
Warne also lends her expertise to party planners by catering international-themed feasts that feature passed hors d'oeuvres, Mediterranean dinners, and eclectic four-course buffets. The company maintains environmentalist practices, not only through sourcing ingredients locally, but also by buying biodegradable flatware and minimizing the use of single-use paper airplanes that carry food to diners' plates.