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.
In order to make a home-cooked meal with fresh ingredients, you could travel to a farm, pick some produce, then combine all the ingredients and hope for the best. Or you could just hire a personal chef from PlateDate, a business with a roster of professionals who prepare meals in the comfort of your own home.
Clients simply go online to select a date and build a menu, then they sit back and wait for their chef to arrive. Using their own fresh, ingredients and the homeowner's cookware, the chef will whip up a meal that may include gourmet dishes such as pan-seared sea scallops, roast pork tenderloin, or ricotta-and-spinach gnocchi. The result: a professionally-prepared dinner for friends, family members, or neighbors who smelled the aromas and let themselves in through the kitchen window.
Influenced by her upbringing in Sierra Leone—where the food culture emphasizes local, artisanal ingredients shared by neighbors—Jeanette Warne guides small groups of adults, teens, and kids in themed cooking classes geared toward age group. In how to-style classes, budding chefs learn such fundamentals as how to cook with wine, how to prepare classic French dishes, or how to tell the difference between a baguette and a baseball bat. The class lineup also covers specializations, such as pastry-chef techniques and cooking for specific dietary needs. Courses typically yield 3–4 dishes.
Warne also lends her expertise to party planners by catering international-themed feasts that feature passed hors d'oeuvres, Mediterranean dinners, and eclectic four-course buffets. The company maintains environmentalist practices, not only through sourcing ingredients locally, but also by buying biodegradable flatware and minimizing the use of single-use paper airplanes that carry food to diners' plates.
The masterminds behind Authentic Bartending School of Maryland dedicate their resources to creating a new generation of mixologists by offering comprehensive training programs and job-placement services. Emphasizing background knowledge and practical skills, the instructors who lead he hands-on courses aim to teach attendees a slew of drink-slinging techniques, including how to mix basic cocktails, craft fruit garnishes, and make a cash register spell "hello" when turned upside down. During the nationally recognized TIPS training, they'll show students how to responsibly serve patrons and defuse risky situations with intoxicated customers. The folks in job-placement services then help graduates seek out potential openings by networking with alumni and bribing senators to keep prohibition off the books.
The chefs at Go Cook Vegan value healthy eating that is also healthy for the environment. As the name implies, they craft menus that are entirely vegetarian and vegan, and they use pesticide-free, organic produce sourced from local farmers' markets and co-ops to do it. Their menu includes nutrient-packed wraps, salads, appetizers, and small plates, but they accommodate custom requests as well, whipping up vegetarian and vegan dishes to suit all palates.
However, the chefs don't confine themselves to the kitchen: They also travel throughout Landover and Columbia, Maryland, to lead custom, small-group cooking classes. The sessions bring friends together while introducing them to an array of vegan and vegetarian cooking techniques. Sessions might focus on growing vegetables or cooking vegan or gluten-free meals, or introduce kids to fun and simple cooking techniques beyond making Play-doh noodles. Each class ends with a farm-to-table gourmet meal, during which guests are welcome to sips of complimentary wine and mimosas.
Using the same recipes they use at home, Herbal Thai’s owners prepare traditional Thai dishes using time-honored family recipes and incorporating scintillating Thai herbs and spices. Friendly staff members plop plates of pad thai and panang curry in front of patrons as fish fillets sizzle under a three-flavor sauce in the kitchen. Twice a month, Herbal Thai’s cooking classes introduce amateur chefs to the process of crafting Thai curry and soup using raw shrimp, vegetables, and mushrooms. During both class and dinner, a panoply of aromas fills the restaurant with the tangy notes of chili-lime dressing and curry powder.