Relish Culinary Adventures offers experiences that highlight Sonoma County's finest farms and ranches, bakeries, cheese makers, and other artisan goods. Though Relish Culinary Center in Healdsburg serves as headquarters for public and private events, a wide range of tours and hands-on cooking experiences take place offsite at a variety of local epicurean destinations. Focusing on seasonal, locally grown, and locally produced ingredients, the program's events match locations with skilled chefs to create cheese or craft elaborate meals.
From season to season, dedicated foodie and owner Donna del Rey works with chefs to alter the menus that fuel Relish Culinary Adventures' expeditions and classes. Special guests vary, including chefs Louis Maldonado of Top Chef and Spoonbar; Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery; producers from Bernier Farms, Twisted Horn Ranch, Preston of Dry Creek, and Valley Ford Cheese; and wine makers from Longboard, Kelley and Young, and Preston Vineyards.
Today they’re playfully dubbed “The Boot Camp Guys,” but Jaron Eliopoulos and Jeffrey Sears were merely students of kinesiology when they met in 2005. After bonding over a shared passion for fitness, the two began to move toward their current nickname by leading boot camp on the side of personal-training jobs. But when their camp spread to two cities and more than 100 patrons, the amount it takes to overthrow a tyrannical couch potato, Jaron and Jeff could ignore their calling no more and LiveFit Boot Camp was born.
Accountability is the glue that holds campers together at the sessions, which are held at parks all over the region. Jeff and Jaron dream up a new workout each day and turn it over to trainers who not only encourage the clients that attend, but also check in with no-shows to make sure they’re staying on track. Through combinations of sprinting, suspension training, kettlebell moves, and other exercises, the routines keep muscles guessing and attendees engaged.
The philosophy of yoga permeates everything at dhyana Center, where instructors regard exercise as a physical manifestation of knowledge and meditation as a necessary step toward self-awareness. Tirza Dawn counts herself among these instructors, and she upholds the community's ideals with a ceremony that incorporates meditation, breathing exercises, and asanas from disciplines such as Iyengar yoga. Tirza's classes are also known for relying heavily on the strange, beautiful music of Andean flutes and crystal singing bowls.
The first student Cheryl Franklin ever taught was herself. As a child, she never needed goading or threats of a brussels-sprouts-only diet to pick up her music and practice. After performing a one-man band’s worth of instruments throughout her entirely self-taught youth, she attended Whitman College and The Juilliard School of Music, where she stoked her passion into the white-hot flame that it is today. Drawing from a quarter-century of teaching, performing, and recording, she teaches all ages and levels in more than 20 instruments, which range from piano and guitar to ukulele and voice. Lesson programs in her studio start with each student learning a song. Subsequent sessions advance their paces by covering such topics as reading music, music history, and theory. While spinning their melodies, pupils may encounter the music school’s adorable canine mascot, Daisy, a boston terrier known for her baked-bean recipe.
Harnessing a background in both art and education, The Pottery Studio's owner aims to create a community gathering space where kids and adults can channel their individual creative urges into decorative or functional pottery, tiles, and mosaics. Amateur artists can grab provided brushes, dip them in eco-friendly and water-soluble paints, and then coat clay in any of more than 60 hues. Idea books are on hand to help aid in the design as one maneuvers stencils and sponges across mugs and plates, or kids and pets can learn to create a lasting impression without super-gluing themselves to the garage door by making clay hand- or footprints. Once ready, the professional staff dips each earthenware masterpiece into a clear glaze, fires it inside a kiln, and readies it to be picked up within one week. The pro potters also encourage each visiting artisan to bring coffee and snacks, and during evening hours, bottles of wine can tag along to refill adults' juice boxes.
With OnlineDriversEd.com, the couch can become a desk and the den a classroom as teens prepare for the written portion of the permit test. The program is DMV-approved in California and Nevada, and provides participants with reading material, flash-animated lessons, and video in order to teach them the rules of the road in an engaging way. To ensure students fully understand what they learn, they must take periodic quizzes, which they can take them as many times as it takes to pass or until their computer has become outdated.