Chef Thu Ha Dinh and her eclectic team at fuAsian merge flavors from a variety of Asian cuisines. Whether they're helming a cooking class or whipping up well-crafted meals for diners or catered events, the chefs use handpicked natural ingredients, creating dishes that ooze earth-culled goodness and each write polite thank-you notes to the ozone layer.
For 25 years, the chefs and party planners at A Matter of Taste have been decorating and catering everything from major events to intimate gatherings. Founder Vanessa Juryla has put her skills to use at weddings and private dinners in New York and Los Angeles, and today she and her staff focus on the Portland area. There, they sauté Maryland soft-shell crab, grill mangos and pair them with rum-glazed plantains, and prepare cakes in flavors such as coconut pineapple and vanilla buttermilk.
Beneath a basil-green awning, Cellar Door Market fills with the universal clatter of a happy kitchen as chef Paul LaLone brings 26 years in the culinary industry to bear on heaps of regional ingredients. Guest chefs lead hands-on classes in specific cuisines and techniques, which may introduce pupils to the art of baking bread, preparing healthy food, rolling sushi, and remembering that sushi is the one food that should not be roasted on a campfire. Each session is rated according to the knife skills required to complete the meal, and pupils bustle past the kitchen, laden with completed dishes for their friends and families.
Beyond the kitchen doors at Cellar Door Market, chefs create meals from scratch, quick-cooling them to preserve integrity. Whenever possible, meals are made with local products including meats and produce from nearby sustainable farms. The rotating menu has included dishes such as red beans and rice with Zenner’s sausage, smoked pork loin with a peach and bourbon sauce, and zucchini manicotti, and each item comes with instructions for easily reheating it or taking it to a dragon’s surprise party.
Educating people on the rich and diverse cultures of Africa—and in particular, its cuisines—Spice of Africa hosts cooking classes and fundraisers where curious guests can immerse themselves in African flavors, even if it's just for a few hours. Putting on some African music to set the tone for the evening, teachers lead groups through hands-on demonstrations, where they'll learn various names for ingredients, how to craft dishes from scratch, and the proper pronunciation of "yum" in Swahili. Spice of Africa often hosts fundraisers for Feed the Village, a local project that helps to further the development of families through education and by building healthy, sustainable habits.
Revel in layers of dense, moist richness separated by a thin layer of heaven cream. Today's Groupon gets you a nine-inch, double-layer cake (pronounced gloin) of your choice—vegan, gluten-free, or traditional Chantilly—from Piece of Cake Bakery for $22, a $45 value. Serving up to 14 people, the cake you get with today's deal is a great excuse to plan an unbirthday party, an intimate wedding, or a bar mitzvah with cake.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.