With a dollop each of love, joy, peace, and patience, Little Hands Cookie Company enriches young lives with creative baking sessions bringing parents, children, teachers, and community members together with fresh ingredients and tasty morsels. Sixty-minutes of drop-in baking and cookie decorating includes icing, sprinkles, and an apron and chef's hat, allowing youngsters to bake and decorate their delicious treats in batter-proofed style. Each dessert progeny walks away with a tummy filled with wholesome sweets and a new skill set perfect for wowing the critics at the teddy-bear picnic.
At Young Chefs Academy’s long, stainless-steel counter, diminutive cooks press their heads together, working sunshine-hued dough through a pasta roller or peering at recipes. The bank of ovens spills the scents of cooking sweets, and gaggles of young adults meander into teen classes, ready to gain culinary skills or bother a librarian by listening to blenders at maximum volume. Some weeks, the school concentrates on the recipes of a particular chef, with past sessions focusing on the works of Julia Child and Jamie Oliver. As holidays approach, the recipes turn towards the pumpkin-infused confections that define Halloween or the slow-roasted baskets traditionally eaten on Easter.
Serving central Pennsylvania for more than 37 years, The Kitchen Shoppe educates aspiring and experienced culinarians in a broad range of topics, many of which are hands-on. The spacious facility hosts hundreds of cooking classes every year, each taught by a professional chef or cookbook author. Upcoming demonstration classes include a collaboration between Victory Brewing Company and Chef Ryan Clay, where the chef will prepare beer-infused menu such as swordfish with sauteed shrimp in a Victory Prima Pils sauce ($59), and a From the Spring Kitchen Garden class ($59), where gardener and author David Hirsch will demonstrate Spring-themed recipes such as Provencal White Beans w/Aromatic Herbs & Fennel from his newest cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden Book. Hands-on courses invite home cooks to explore new cooking techniques, from preserving fruit ($39) and making potato and cheese-filled pierogies from scratch ($49), to learning baking basics and creating themed meals such as the I’ve Got the Blues dinner, which sates cerulean-seeking stomachs with blue corn crab cakes, cilantro blue cheese slaw, and braised blue suede shoes ($59). With class sizes limited to 32–50 people, all participants have the opportunity to ask questions of the knowledgeable staff, request guidance from friendly instructors, or just share their custom-airbrushed R2-D2 apron with fellow space opera epicureans.
Sipping Pretty acts as a conduit to the world of wine, welcoming customers with wine tastings and educational classes. Its mobile tastings follow a curriculum centered on the four S's of wine tasting and succeeding as a talking police dog: see, sniff, sip, and summarize. Each tasting showcases critically acclaimed wines that tasters can pair with meat and cheese from included snack platters. Seminars offer an alternative way to explore wine, delving into not only the art of tasting but how wine is made and questions of etiquette surrounding its consumption, such as which vintages are best served with a curly straw.
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.
For the chefs at Home Run Cooking, being in the kitchen isn't just a necessary part of everyday life, but a fun and engaging adventure. This is the kind of attitude they aim to inspire in their students, whether they're experienced adults looking to learn a new dish, or curious kids aiming to up their lunchbox game. Classes cover a wide variety of topics, from pairing the perfect wine to go with a homemade dish to constructing the perfect summer salad that will stave off winter forever. Events are also built into cooking classes, such as Singles Night, where you can meet local singles while preparing a meal, and a BYOB food and wine date night.