It’s rare that a man knows how to build a flower, but Nicholas Lodge does, and he teaches his students how to do just that—with sugar. At the International Sugar Art Collection by Nicholas Lodge, Lodge and his team of confectioners teach their protégés not only to craft lifelike exotic sugar flowers, but also to roll fondant, manipulate buttercream, and create funky desserts, such as a cake laced into a chocolate corset.
Since 1992, Lodge—a sugar-craft expert who has worked for royalty—has helmed the center, which boasts a sister location in Tokyo. He has also traveled to more than 26 countries to showcase the versatility of his art with demonstrations, rather than simply planting mannequins made of sugar in each audience.
The specialists at Eat My Art construct elaborate, edible sculptures from natural ingredients and impart their baking alchemy during classes and workshops. With careful measurements and precise amounts of flour, sugar, and eggs, the baking team arranges multidimensional cakes in the shapes of hot rods, handbags, corsets, and boxing gloves. During child or adult baking classes, the staff supplies all the baking utensils and ingredients necessary to create cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and miniature pies. The classes reveal fine baking and decorating techniques such as piping with buttercream, sculpting with fondant, and baking a file-shaped cake to successfully escape gingerbread prisons.
Members of the Atlanta Bar-B-Q Club aren’t just connected their shared tastes. These meat-lovers want to know everything about the craft and care put into savory barbecue meals. They satisfy this hunger for knowledge by gathering at a local barbecue joint for monthly “meatings,” communal feasts where barbecue experts give cooking tips. Between the monthly events, members also enjoy discounts at restaurants, including Jim ‘N Nicks and Pit Boss, all easily located thanks to the club-provided map of participating eateries and compass that always points towards the nearest plate of ribs. Members can attend invite-only parties hosted by fellow club members or chefs, tag along on field trips to the National BBQ Festival and other nearby cooking events, or judge dishes at the club’s own barbecue contest.
I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
The chefs at Bradford's on Bishop serve up instruction in essential kitchen skills such as basic knife work, cooking techniques, and food handling in seven eclectic cooking classes. Armed with a spread of seasonal ingredients, students can choose to learn the home-cooking secrets of one of several exotic cuisines, including French, modern Thai, and Capoeira. The Girls Night Out class teaches culinary pupils how to whip up more indulgent fare, and Knife Skills slices through an array of different cutting techniques. All classes at Bradford's on Bishop commence with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, allowing students to discuss current cooking topics such as the nutritional differences between a double cheeseburger and the McDouble. A presenting chef then narrates the evening's entrees before the congregation is split into groups of ten, with each group completing multiple dishes under the tutelage of their own chef. Complimentary cocktails are included, and students are encouraged to bring their favorite beverage.