Located in the historic West Adams neighborhood, Cashmere Bites’ loft-style industrial kitchen stands out from its surroundings thanks to a large, cherry-red door. Inside the modern studio, stainless steel and blond-wood counters support students as they learn to craft satisfying meals during three-hour classes that use local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Sessions typically focus on specified regional cuisines or food for special occasions, such as football Sunday or tomato-fight Saturday. The instructors also host private cooking parties and travel to homes for more intimate lessons.
Earthly Juices supports and nurtures health with fresh organic juices, living fare, and detox programs—using many ingredients grown in its own sustainable quarter-acre garden. The juice gurus cold-press fresh nuts, fruits, and vegetables that match the season into juices, smoothies, and cold-brew teas teeming with probiotic cultures. Earthly Juices composts all leftover pulp and serves each of its elixirs in Ball mason jars for $1 per jar, though patrons can bring their own jars or mammoth skulls to avoid the fee.
Patrons can purge environmental toxins or old love-letter residue during comprehensive cleanses, each customized for the individual’s allergies and personal goals and ranging in duration from one weekend to an entire month. Empathic detox counselors remain on-call via Skype, phone, and in person for the duration of each cleanse to troubleshoot as well as fortify minds with motivation. In addition to its culinary and detox endeavors, Earthly Juices supports whole-body and lifestyle health with services from home-garden design to classes on raw foods and international cooking.
At Raw Done Tastefully, certified raw foods chef and instructor Raquel Smith teaches students about the benefits of eating raw. Using her certifications from the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico and the Living Light Culinary Institute, Raquel leads classes that range from introductory demos to hands-on classes to multi-day healthy living seminars. Using raw and organic ingredients, she can teach students to craft cuisine in a variety of styles such as Asian fusion, Latin American, and Italian, with dishes such as chocolate mousse tart, curry-walnut pate, and tropical plantains.
During the 90-minute techniques class, you and another person will have the rare opportunity to observe a chef in its natural environment as the culinary wizard offers a demonstration on a given subject. Each class concludes with a small tasting at the end, offering a response to the puddles of mouthwater that will have gathered on the floor by that time. Upcoming mini-skills class topics include summer-baking techniques on May 23, offering a solution for cooks long crushed by the quandaries of cobblers, crumbles, and crisps; canning on June 20, to help preserve summertime treats from the advances of time and army ants; and tomatoes on July 25, with tips on sauces, chutneys, preserves, and recipes using the apple's cooler cousin. Groupon users can also apply this deal toward two spots in one of Old Town Cooking School's wine-styles classes ($50) and pay the $24 difference out of pocket.
Founded in 1985, Epicurean gives choppers with any level of chops a hands-on—or a knives-on-and-hands-away— lesson, lead by trained instructors. During Cupcakes Couture III, students create stylish cupcakes, such as chocolate cherry cordial and strawberry with brown sugar crème fraiche icing. For clock-watchers or those trained in the fast-paced world of cup stacking competitions or speed chess, the menu of Jiffy Meals can all be prepared in less than 30 minutes. During the Sauces course, gravy un-clumps and au jus is finally translated (spoiler alert: it means "oh, you!"). Jesse Brune of Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills leads salad formations during Salad Daze and combines healthy edibles in Fit to Eat. Check out the full schedule of classes here.