Many people learn better when they feel comfortable, which is why Cucina Bambini designed their workspace to resemble a family kitchen instead of a clinical wall of burners and ovens. Black-and-white tiles cover the walls behind rustic cabinets and ceramic spice vessels. Instructors work with ingredients atop a central island to share their passion for cooking with students of all ages. Children can learn about culture as well as cuisine in Around the World classes that focus on recipes for tandoori chicken or Chinese siu mai dumplings. Adults may mix fresh pasta dough and form fettuccine or ravioli by hand or learn how to prepare sushi rice and use it in fresh rolls or nigiri. During date-night classes, couples can bring in a bottle of wine to sip as they prepare a four-course dinner that they will eventually devour or smear across each other's faces.
Edible Arrangements' fresh, artful fruit baskets and boxes combine the aesthetic elements and emotive properties of floral arrangements with the juicy deliciousness and socially acceptable edibility of fruit. Enjoy the fruity deliciousness of en elegant box of chocolate-dipped tree candy in a plethora of varietals including strawberries, Anjou pears, apples, oranges, pineapple daisies, and bananas. All the fresh, juicy slices are hand dipped in Edible Arrangements' gourmet semisweet chocolate blend. Receiving a box of dipped fruits can turn a frown into an upright grapefruit wedge, a tear into a three-tiered citrus structure, and a friend into still just a friend, but one with a sweet, balanced diet.
Students enroll in Community Business College not just to prepare for a new career, but often to enrich the one they have or just pursue an interesting hobby. Online and in-person training programs provide crucial skills in growing fields such as medical billing and solar panel technology. Enrichment classes cover everything from cooking to conversational Japanese, navigating Microsoft Office to profiting from eBay. Relationships with a bevy of local businesses let Community Business College offer post-graduate job placement, on-the-job training for those already employed, and a definite edge in popular party game "Name 20 Local Businesses."
Surprisingly enough, the most popular item at Rachel Dunn Chocolates is an apple. The Unbelievable Apple, in fact. A true dessert behemoth, this nearly 3-pound fruit is painted with hearty coats of caramel, chocolate, and fresh-roasted almonds. There’s not even any room left for the stick. Feeding as many as 12 people when sliced up, the apple has earned the attention of celebrity sweets-lovers ranging from Rosie O’Donnell to Williams-Sonoma founder Chuck Williams.
That’s not to say that Rachel, a chocolatier with 30 years of experience, is a one-treat pony. Her beloved dark honeycomb chocolate was selected as one of the 101 Best Bites of the East Bay by Diablo magazine in 2011, and her kitchen has churned out more than 72 million of her addictive Ebird’s perfect peppermint cookies. Though esteemed, Rachel’s hardly secretive about her methods, she personally hosts regular chocolate-making classes in her very own factory.
Inspired by the slow-food movement, the instructors at Community Tap and Table encourage everyone to make food deliberately and from scratch. Their events include techniques for such projects as curing bacon at home, canning and preserving food, and making tea-smoked salmon. Several of their cooking classes include beer pairings, and glasses of craft brew clink together during a foodie book club, punctuating chatter. Customizable private parties bring beer and food into the comfort of clients’ own homes, where they and a few friends enjoy cooking and pairing lessons from staff chefs wielding local ingredients. A portion of Community Tap and Table’s proceeds funnels straight back into funding farm-to-table projects or job-training resources for students.
Napoli Culinary Academy founder and international chef Hassi Sadri?whose infinite pizza knowledge earned him the head judge position at the international pizza competition in Las Vegas?leads culinary initiates along with his staff during fun-filled cooking classes, whether for fun or to achieve a culinary-arts diploma. During hands-on classes, groups of students learn useful tidbits on how to cook a variety delectable dishes. Academy students along with professional executive chefs serve lunch and dinner in the Napoli Culinary Academy Caf? and cater special events while showing off skills crucial to their future careers as gourmet chefs, from carving meats to plating entrees.