When a chef reaches for a stick of butter, the staff at Mountain Town Olive Oil mourns. It's a missed opportunity to cook with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), a much healthier and more flavorful option. That's why the EVOO connoisseurs give cooks a wide range of butter alternatives in the form of specialty olive oils. Many are tinged with unusual flavors: cayenne, basil, and, for the staunch traditionalist, even butter. The same is true of gourmet and balsamic vinegars—try the black cherry, cinnamon pear, or dark chocolate vinegars for proof.
A venerable textbook of sushi history, the engaging Chef Joe brings more than 20 years of Japanese culinary experience to the Mt. Fuji cutting boards. Each sushi-making class begins with the arts-and-crafts basics of fish-related construction using nori, rice, and rubber cement to build delicious rolls ready-made for consumption. Chef Joe will also clue you in on the best places to buy ingredients for three sushi mainstays: the classic california roll, spicy-tuna hand rolls, and salmon nigiri. The BYOB policy lets you alternate your detailed maki handiwork with sips of your favorite wine or beer (Mt. Fuji supplies the glasses, along with additional alcohol, which may be purchased on-site). Once you've finished exercising your chopsticks, show off your ability to shatter glass with a well-chosen Mariah Carey ballad at the restaurant-sponsored karaoke party after class.
With a kaleidoscope of cookware, utensils, and food gadgets, Bosch Kitchen Center equips kitchen arsenals for the most daunting of alimentary ambitions. A bevy of blenders, juicers, and slicers by Waring Pro and Oxo truncates fresh ingredients into savorable portions, and professional cutting boards by Wusthof keep blades honed for chopping and fending off gangs of unwashed carrots. Meanwhile, meal gurus demonstrate a variety of gadgets and techniques that help students to save money and spend less time in the kitchen. Classes emphasize healthier eating and the benefits of preparing meals from scratch, instilling skills in making bread, forging quick meals, and crafting dishes from international recipes.
Laila Hardman and Annie Gilbert came up with a singular vision for a culinary boutique, where shelves lined with gourmet coffees, cookbooks, and European cookware and gadgets open up into a demonstration kitchen that accommodates groups of up to 20 people. There, experienced instructors take culinary influences from around the globe and show students how to whip them up with healthy and fresh ingredients. In addition to a running packed schedule of specialty classes, they also cater to private groups for date nights or bachelorette parties.
A state-of-the-culinary-art kitchen with Viking appliances and professionally trained chef instructors make the Viking Cooking School an ideal place to sharpen the santoku knives of your culinary prowess. All recipes are created by professional chefs and made to be recreated by you at home. Choose one class from the upcoming schedule of hands-on workshops, demonstrations with informative discussions, guest-chef classes, and classes for kids (7–12) and teens (12–15). The Barbeque Basics ($135) teaches pit-mastering techniques such as adding smoke flavor, basting, making homemade barbecue sauce, and properly dribbling that sauce on your face or bib. Learn animal-free recipes at various veggie classes such as the Vegetarian Dinner Party ($79), which will construct a menu with such items as eggplant roulades with oven-dried tomatoes and chèvre cream sauce and wild-mushroom baklava. Take a look at the full calendar of classes here.
Holy Grains churns out batches of organic, gluten-free products, including oats, rice, and freshly milled flours and mixes. More than just a source of healthy provisions, the business provides a multitude of educational opportunities, leading classes and doling out recipes that focus on the sugar-, corn-, and dairy-free sides to eating. Holy Grains also offers nutritional counseling and private coaching to those who want to take their organic diets to the next level.