The seasoned and passionate chefs at Classy Kids Cook helm after-school cooking classes designed to teach burgeoning culinarians to create their own creations from scratch. During these interactive classes, students ages 6–17 will review, learn, cook, and devour recipes, sizzling up dishes devoid of Play-Doh cardamom. Teachers guide participants through themed classes such as Now, That's Italian, Science in the Kitchen, or Fall Farm to Table Cuisine; schedules change monthly. The class makes sure to cover cooking safety and etiquette, including knife skills and proper equipment usage. An open start time, which allows classes to begin before 4 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., ensures after-school drop-offs enough time to work on a 300-pound cupcake decorated like a baby panda.
The chefs of Cookology parlay the essentials of planning, budgeting, and cooking quick and healthy meals. With new classes added each month, students can pick an evening from the schedule of Quick & Healthy Week Night Meals classes and stroll into the kitchen for a two-hour course that begins with practical tips on how to plan a meal, how to find the best ingredients on a budget, how to bake dessert from scratch, and how to tell a radish from a battery. Chefs then walk students through the cooking of a full menu from scratch, ranging from a braised chicken with caramelized onions and peppers to fresh-spinach-and-arugula salad, with a sweet finale of macerated berries with chocolate crème. During the culinary clinic, technical skills, such as knife-handling, salad-preparation, and oven-braising methods receive due attention, supplying students with the know-how necessary to feed families, impress friends, and avoid guilty looks from the delivery man.
Dizzy Pig Barbecue Company’s chefs hand blend gourmet spices into dry rubs whose flavors have been carefully honed over the past nine years. This same quest to refine spice, meat, and sauce led the company to found a competitive team of barbecuers to test their new recipes against pitmasters across the United States. The crew, which flavors all its meats with Dizzy Pig products, has earned 11 wins in grand championships in its 10-year history.
À la Carte Catering and Event Design shoulders the entire burden of event planning, from the food and wait staff to flowers and decorations to entertainment and lighting. Hosts just meet with an event specialist to describe the basics behind their dream party, and À la Carte hammers out the kinks to make it a reality. The company's executive chef draws on his training in France, New Orleans, and the Caribbean to craft elegant and casual menus, and partner vendors manage other accoutrements, such as coat checks, valet parking, or live musicians. Civilians get a glimpse inside the trade at cooking classes with À la Carte’s chefs during interactive demonstrations that cover professional techniques for butchering meat, cooking pasta, or licking brownie batter off of a spatula.
Though his family hails from Italy, Chef Alfio Celia takes his cues from the French when it comes to the art of cooking. After learning the basics among French chefs, Chef Alfio sharpened his knives at various restaurants around DC before establishing a culinary consulting firm, Bella Companies. There, the chef learned how to help businesses thrive from the inside out by working with hotels, restaurants, and cafés to develop menus, provide start-up management assistance, and train new staff members. When he’s not advising clients on the finer points of the food-service industry, Chef Alfio can be found in the Bella Companies kitchen, where he helps at-home chefs thrive with his cooking classes. These sessions are open to home chefs of all experience levels. Chef Alfio provides his students with insider culinary tips, such as how whip up a large brunch feast capable of feeding the 25 or more out-of-state relatives who decided to "just drop by" your place for the weekend.
Chef Daniele Catalani traveled to the United States from his Tuscan homeland at the age of 20. By the time he was 23, he'd already made his mark on the DC culinary scene, earning a spot as the exclusive chef of Galileo Restaurant and doing battle with clanging robot cooks on the Food Network show Iron Chef America. Though he spends most of his time overseeing the kitchen at Toscana Café, his Washington Post–lauded eatery, he also shares his craft by teaching aspiring cooks how to create Italian-inspired meals and pair them with wine.