Weekly pre-fixe menus have become a restaurant staple, but at Le Central, the chefs have added their own personal touches. Each menu is inspired by the home region of one of the employees, a nod to both the authenticity of the restaurant’s French cuisine and the feeling of community it cultivates. The Olivier menu, for example, is in honor of the management’s newest member, who hails from the French Alps of Savoie. This is the land of cheese, walnuts, morels, and veal; so fittingly, the menu starts with an arugula salad with goat cheese and walnuts. On other weeks, diners can enjoy meals inspired by server Pascal’s home of Bezier in the Languedoc region, pastry chef Dominique’s childhood in Southern Brittany at the mouth of the Loire Valley, and charcuterie chef Phillippe’s roots in the German-influenced Alsace region. In addition to the prix-fixe offerings, the à la carte menu is populated with French staples such as house-made pâtés and moules frites—the classic combination of sweet black mussels and salty french fries. Homemade sausages, duck, and trout are bedecked with indulgent touches such as gastriques and brown butter. Pastry chef Dominique whips up sweets in house, including colorful, airy macarons and a croquembouche: a tower of cream puffs that traditionally serves as the dessert at French weddings. The warmly lit dining room gives off the feel of a Provençal cottage, with natural wooden beams, exposed brick, and traditional wooden furniture. Diners can also enjoy dinner on an enclosed patio, with rustic wooden touches and strings of white lights that twinkle at night.
From grills and smokers to classes that teach even the most tender-footed backyard cooks how to properly use them, Colorado BBQ Outfitters has the knowledge and inventory to keep its customers grilling. During classes, students learn the basics before moving on to smoking meats and choosing types of grills and woods. They also watch a demo on preparing four different cuts of meat. Stock up on grilling tools and accessories, a huge variety of sauces, and all the goods to get the coals hot, including a person to walk across them.
The gastronomic gurus at the Auguste Escoffier School of the Culinary Arts channel the wisdom of their namesake to elucidate culinary traditions while employing locally sourced ingredients and recyclable materials wherever possible. Offered several times on the Home Cook class calendar, Knife Skills sharpen students' paring prowess with techniques that boost preparation efficiency, knowledge of classic and specialty cuts, and successful duels against swashbuckling carrots. Infuse holiday parties with meatless merriment using the skills acquired in Holiday Vegetarian Feast classes to prepare spiced pumpkin soufflés and winter-squash-and-parsnip purée. Culinary couples can cook up their own romantic seasonal feast during monthly Dinner Date classes, while gals unwind with chocolate and carbs during Girls Night Out sessions. Classic French Bistro classes navigate rich French culinary traditions, allowing students to assemble moules frites and croque madames and identify which parts of the Arc de Triomphe produce the most tender brisket.
Stocking a vast selection that features nearly a hundred sauces, over 150 spices and rubs, and natural hardwoods ranging from cherry to mesquite, Ruffs Barbecue Shoppe outfits pit-masters for year-round barbecuing and smoking. Wood chips from alder, hickory, and maple trees and low-ash, even-heat mesquite and hickory pellets smolder inside smokers from Traeger, American Barbecue Systems, and Big Green Egg. Ruffs' year-round classes display the art of summery eating no matter the season, teaching students how to pack buns with pulled pork or train brisket to come when called.
Want to become a better cook in 2011? This revolutionary online cooking course has you covered. No matter what your level, upon completion of the course you will be able to cook fast, easy, healthy meals! Ask Chef Shellie Kark questions along the way, while taking the course at your own pace and on your own schedule.
Signature service: Pacific Islands cooking
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Pro Tip: [Classes focus on] how to entertain friends and family with food