Dragonfly Cakes, together with their chocolate counterpart Coco-luxe Confections, field a skilled team of confectionary clairvoyants that are ready to share their gourmet candy-crafting skills with the cacao-hungry masses. The build-your-own-chocolate-bar class instills beginner chocolatiers with the mediation skills needed to tame the melancholy attitude of rich and pensive dark chocolate by schooling them in chocolate-tempering techniques. Students can then combine fresh and flavorful ingredients to create six customized edible ingots ready to be devoured on-site or in the privacy of your own dessert den. Artistically inclined academics looking to expand their sugar-sculpting skills beyond the slab can opt for the petits fours class, where a morsel midwife will lead a demonstration of the birth of baby bite-sized cakes before setting sugar students free to focus on finishing, dipping, and decorating their own litter of 12. Dainty and elegant, these picturesque pastel delicacies make a welcome addition to baby showers, tea parties, or parallelogram-based diets.
Fresh seafood and dry-aged steaks shape the menu at Scott's Seafood, which brings an elegant, marina-style setting to a sunny corner of Palo Alto. White linens swath every tabletop, their pristine hue imperiled by forkfuls of clam linguini tossed in garlic wine sauce and blackened red snapper served with salsa and lime sour cream. Roasted red potatoes and vegetables accompany Scott's Maine lobster tail, which diners splash into saucers of decadent drawn butter. Though the seafood shines, it shares the limelight with filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip steaks—cuts of Angus beef dry-aged and grilled to perfection. Tastefully clad in white button-downs and ties, Scott's waiters make knowledgeable recommendations for pairings from the wine list, which emphasizes California vintages but also includes bottles from France, Italy, and Australia. Scott's also maintains a handsome, fully-stocked bar with mahogany-stained woodwork, leather-upholstered stools, and flat-panel TVs for watching the latest weather reports.
After two decades spent perfecting his secret barbecue recipes on friends and family, Ed opened Big Ed's Buzzard BBQ Inc. to bring his sauce-slathered brisket, pulled pork, and St. Louis?style ribs to the masses. Today, the barbecue master piles plates high with eight styles of smoked and spiced meat, and his chefs fashion multicourse meals full of saucy barbecue, homestyle sides such as honey-jalape?o corn bread, and desserts including peach cobbler.
Meals can be enjoyed at home or onsite at get-togethers. The shop caters a full range of staples for private events, including whole-hog roasts, pintsize sides, and binding agreements to kiss the cook. When he's not cooking, Ed can be found teaching competition-level classes, where he spends five hours covering barbecue basics.
Jean Couch—author of The Runner’s Yoga Book, producer of the DVD Your Pain-Free Life, and founder of Balance Center—started her career by studying healthy populations of people throughout the world. She learned that they tended not to experience back and joint pain as pervasively as does the United States population. From her studies, Couch believes that this pain can be eased with correct posture. She and her instructors animate that research at Balance Center by leading sessions based on the movement patterns of people without back and joint pain, just as adults who want to look cool base their movements on the angsty slump of teenagers. The teachers lead introductory, ongoing, and intensive classes in posture correction for sitting and walking.
Darryl Kalthof of Bay Area Flying Lessons holds an FAA certificate as an airline transport pilot and ratings as an advanced ground instructor, honors earned over a distinguished two-decade career as a certified flight instructor. Today, he oversees a fleet of Cessna and Piper airplanes that act as airborne classrooms for his pupils, who range from 10-year-olds taking their first mechanical flights to advanced pilots earning certificates in commercial, multi-engine, and tail-wheel aviation. Lessons make use of the airspace surrounding San Francisco Bay, yielding panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean as well as many notable landmarks, including Dumbarton Bridge’s low ribbon of road and Stanford Stadium’s 70-foot animatronic statue of Bill Walsh.
Having shot more than 30,000 subjects throughout his career as a photographer, including many Silicon Valley business figures, Eric Gould understands how to create a good photo in any setting. His adeptness at communicating with subjects carries into his photography workshops, where he conveys difficult concepts clearly and methodically, saving students from such rookie mistakes as shooting with the lens cap on or turning the flash on while taking pictures of your imaginary friend's third grade graduation. In his own photo sessions, he frames professional clients in business portraits and headshots, high-school seniors in youthful poses, athletes in midaction, and a wide spectrum of people and places encountered on international travels.