John Gizzi and Diann Greco, the American Wine Society–certified wine judges at Make Wine With Us, teach wine aficionados to create their own wines using grapes harvested in Californian and Chilean vineyards. At the start of the nine-month process (California grapes in the fall, Chile grapes in the spring), winemakers-to-be assemble with fellow enthusiasts to learn the intricacies of the trade. Patrons learn to crush and destem grapes in a machine called a crusher-destemmer, named after the device's favorite Germanic metal band. Following the crushing process, a hydraulic press forces juice into barrels, where it shall remain until the conclusion of its sweet, sweet metamorphosis.
When wine awakens from its hibernation, patrons remove suspended yeast cells and skin particles though a process called racking. At the end of the nine-month period, newly minted winemakers lean on family and friends to fill, cork, and custom-label the finished product. Budding vintners then tote home their vintages to share with family, friends, and robot butlers with built-in carafes.
At Ridgewood Culinary Studio, small class sizes and a playful, hands-on approach to cooking empower students of all ages to confidently make meals from scratch. In addition to teaching youngsters basic skills such as kitchen safety and how to get out of dishwashing duty, instructors inspire adult gourmands with classes on grilling, barbecuing, and other types of cuisine. Regardless of the class or age group, instructors emphasize mindful eating habits and nutritious recipes. The commercial kitchen also plays host to summer camps, birthday parties, and business-building classes.
Inside the kitchen of Marcello’s, teardrop chandeliers cast their warm gaze over copper cookware and a dining table that wraps around the stove. Here, Chef Marcello sheds light on the techniques of preparing Italian cuisine during cooking classes and private parties. In such events, up to 12 guests can sip wine while he picks recipes secretly stored in his chef’s hat and demonstrates how to assemble artful dishes, which may include risotto with chicken and spinach or pasta with fresh tomato mozzarella and basil. Although the private dining experience is the easiest way to witness Chef Marcello’s passion for sharing the cuisine of his native Italy, guests can also enjoy his dynamic entrees without front-row seats at the chef’s table. In the restaurant’s dining room, floor-to-ceiling murals depict the Tuscan countryside and ferns adorn honey-colored walls as diners anticipate hearty meals. Atop crisp white tablecloths, servers present platters of housemade pastas and veal prepared seven ways. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend pairings from the vast Italian wine list.
Fully licensed by the New York State Department of Education, Allstar Bartenders Training educates students in the art and science of mixed-drink pouring and presentation. Apprentice mixologists get acquainted with the functions of different bar tools while learning which cocktails should be shaken, stirred, or whisked using a handful of uncooked angel-hair pasta. Allstar's seasoned tenders aid students in memorizing the recipes, garnishes, and matching glassware of the most popular concoctions. The school's classrooms resemble mock cocktail lounges with ample shot glasses and jukeboxes, giving students a realistic setting to practice drink vending. Allstar treats its graduates to complimentary lifetime job-placement assistance and refresher courses.
The recipe for a successful cooking class requires the right mix of teacher, chef, and nutritionist—a balance that each instructor strikes at Young Chef Academy. They host students aged 4–18 in weekly cooking classes which regularly change recipes while sticking to the monthly theme. They cater to individual children, school field trips, and even scout troops. They even teach kids how to make their own treats during birthday parties, such as birthday cakes that come out of the oven already on fire and ready to be blown out.