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.
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.
The team of certified health coaches at Baltimore Health Coach cultivates a healthy community focused on sustainable foods and commitment to self-care. Two-hour workshops empower clients to make positive, informed choices at mealtime by replacing dietary myths and detrimental noshing with nutritional savvy and a holster full of carrots. "Sugar Mama" Richele Henry leads a September women's workshop geared toward overcoming cravings, and the All-Day Energy seminar in October identifies nutrient-rich super foods and exposes four insidious drains on vitality. Additionally, a 14-day pass to the Maryland Athletic Club comes with any workshop.
Executive chef and restaurant consultant Chef Apple whips up packages of decadent dessert and organic meals ready for a romantic Valentine’s night in. She crafts natural, organic, house-made fare for each package, hand-dipping strawberries in her backyard’s chocolate geyser and nestling shrimp scampi in a tangle of house-made pasta. Packages also contain goodies from specialty shops such as Liddabit Sweets, Lark Fine Foods, and Taza Chocolate. When customers arrive for pickup on February 14 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Chef Apple provisions them with packaged feasts and simple reheating instructions. The gourmet cuisine makes for an easier and more romantic dinner at home than attempting to sauté candy hearts, and sweethearts celebrating belatedly can keep morsels refrigerated for 48 hours or more.
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.
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.
Aiming to make exotic cooking an approachable feat for even the least experienced chef, Let's Cultivate Food employs friendly chefs who perform culinary magic in private kitchens, traveling up to 25 miles from Conshohocken, Philadelphia (extra fee for highway tolls, bridges, and city parking) to your home. With a variety of themed menus to choose from—including sushi-making, exotic stir-fried rice, and soups—cooking-party hosts can set their food preferences before a duo of chefs arrives with all the necessary fresh ingredients. Participants then learn to cook dishes, such as Pad Thai or BLT spring rolls, before enjoying each dish in the comfort of their homes and the familiar grooves of a favorite chair.