Conrad Gallagher has many roles?television personality, restaurateur, and cookbook author, to name a few?but the same passion for cooking that he puts into each of these tasks garnered his restaurant a Michelin star when he was 24, making him the youngest starred chef at the time. He began his training in Ireland at the age of 12, when most other kids are too busy playing games or collecting seagull feathers. Conrad's persistent dedication paid off in the form of numerous awards and accomplishments, including preparing a St. Patrick's Day dinner for President Bill Clinton at the White House. These days, Conrad stretches his talents to other fields, such as menu planning and restaurant development. He also schools laymen in the kitchen with cooking lessons that focus on specific genres, including Italian, French, and seafood. Gift certificates are available for purchase.
It is Chef Juliano's passion for food and cooking that first brought him to the raw lifestyle. At age 19 he became vegan and shortly after started eating 100% raw. But there was one problem—where would he eat outside his home? With the inspiration for a restaurant forming, he called on his family for support and made his first RAW restaurant a reality. Today RAW is a popular destination for celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone and Woody Harrelson, as well as for any diner looking for a healthy meal. And with a menu full of cheeseburgers, sushi and pasta—all raw versions—every option is a flavorful one.
When other kids played in the street, imagining lives as astronauts or cops, Leslie McKenna played in the kitchen, already a chef in her heart. Her childhood passion persisted, earning her a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, praise in the pages of Bon Appétit for her pastas and desserts, and a job as Bob Hope’s private chef. In 2005, she decided to share her love with a new generation of aspiring culinary artists, so she founded Chefs, Inc. as a place to learn, cook, and have fun.
Today, her school hosts a wide array of cooking classes, when it isn’t occupied as a film set by shows such as Millionaire Matchmaker. The classes range from Julia Child’s classic French recipes to a dipping-sauce course focusing on grilled and fried eats slathered in custom condiments. She even teaches a knife-skills class, preparing students to slice and dice food like a professional, quickly chopping money or deftly cracking the fruit of the money tree to reveal the paycheck inside.
For 36 years, Cake and Art's kitchen has yielded batch after batch of imaginative desserts, including birthday cakes for celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton, Jay Leno, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber. Behind the scenes at the acclaimed shop?whose work has graced the cover of Life magazine?the skilled staff churns out a surfeit of cupcakes, cookies and brownies, and chocolate bars with creatively customized labels. Their specialty cakes boast foundations of vanilla, chocolate, carrot, red velvet, or lemon, and they often personalize the ubiquitous party treats with customer's photographs and themed designs. The shop's cupcake artist, Kody Christiansen, hosts cupcake-decorating classes and private parties that teach attendees a tier of skills, such as how to create a buttercream flower and how to profit from buttercream botanic gardens.
From garnishing a perfectly poured martini to doling out rounds of drinks quickly and efficiently, the experienced instructors at National Bartender School possess all the tips, tricks, and tools to succeed in the bartending trade. With years of industry experience under their belts, these knowledgeable spirits sages guide pupils through certification courses that cover every aspect of the job. Under their supervision, students learn to craft more than 200 cocktails, handle transactions, and practice the art of the upsell without breaking a sweat or bottle of 50-year-old scotch. Free refresher courses and job-placement assistance keep students on track even after school is through. For more focused pursuits, National Bartender School also hosts classes in specialty fields such as flair bartending and bar management.
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.