The crafty bakers at Cake N Candy offer an extensive curriculum in the art of building sweet treats of all shapes and sizes. Students learn the subtleties of cake decoration, dressing breads in icing, flowers, or the smooth, sugary shell of gum paste and fondant. Instructors teach trade secrets of splicing different varieties of cookies or making homemade candy that can cheer up even the grumpiest of nightclub bouncers. Instructors build moist and munchable cake pops or ride the waves of the cupcake craze with an array of recipes and decorating ideas. Classes range from one to four sessions, with some including additional costs for equipment and course books.
Growing up in his mother's kitchen in Western France, Laurent Robic developed a natural enthusiasm for fresh food made tenderly from scratch. After attending culinary school, Robic minced and sautéed his way across Europe, picking up knowledge of different cuisines and broadening his foreign whisk collection. Eventually, Chef Laurent traveled to the states with his wife. Today, he's amassed over 20 years of professional experience, which he passes on to students of all ages and experience levels during an ever-rotating lineup of demonstrative and hands-on cooking classes. Whether he’s passing on the secrets of winter soups and stews, demonstrating the versatility of chicken’s many kitchen uses, or unlocking global tastes with country-themed courses, Chef Laurent honors his art with patient, friendly instruction. A noted chocolatier, he also lovingly crafts French-style truffles out of Ecuadorian chocolate certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
At The Local Epicurean, owner Ryan Raredon, who has been profiled in the Grand Rapids Press, began pasta making as a hobby, before success at selling his noodles and seasonings in farmers’ markets inspired him to open his own store, where a panoply of handmade herb-infused sundries now resides. From pasta-making, Ryan has now expanded his store to include a Chocolate Lounge filled with delectable selections of cocoa-based confections. The store's newest space boasts a full chocolate menu with a wide selection of organic coffee and tea. Guests can opt for the Lounge's signature "Cha-Co-Lot" drink, delicately crafted and served in an antique silver coffee pot, a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake, or head to the paring stand to sample hand-made chocolates, dipped berries, cheeses, and breads. Patrons can satisfy their sweet-tooth cravings at The Chocolate Lounge seven days a week.