Though she focused her early life on becoming a classically trained musician, Leiticia Rice also dabbled in airbrushing and painting at a young age. It wasn't until a birthday party in 2012, however, that she thought to channel her talent for visual art into cakes. As she faced rapidly increasing demands for her unorthodox pastries, she founded Ritzy Cakes?where today, she and her staff make cookies and cake-based treats with a focus on bold colors, quirky imagery, and accurate maps of long-lost treasures.
Leiticia tops cookies with marshmallow fondant and fondant characters, and forms red-velvet, chocolate-fudge, french-vanilla, and yellow cake pops into a range of shapes and sizes. Her most popular baked goods are her cakes, in which she blends her own imagination with the ancient symbols of the Antoinettes, a French cake-worship cult. Using 14 cake flavors?such as chocolate fudge, cream cheese, and peanut-butter fudge?she crafts multilayer confections in shapes such as silver shoes, gilded skulls, masquerade masks, and flower-covered gardens.
The breathtaking panorama that stretches in front of the The Sunset Grille's patio, which overlooks the lush Augusta Ranch Golf Club, would be enough to distract from almost any meal. But the homestyle breakfast and lunch dishes that its friendly wait staff serves have a good shot at garnering diners' attention. Around early-morning tee times, hearty scrambles, omelets, and pancakes get golfers ready for the day. And at lunch, "sandwedges," burgers, salads, and wraps refuel the club's clientele or exhausted golf carts.
The Sunset Grille also offers a number of dinner options including weekly early bird dinners and themed dinners every Friday. For adults, a monthly Wine Drinking event is held at the restaurant.
Chef Brian Banasek and the staff at Serenade Catering fuel festivities with tasting menus and rentable chocolate fountains. Referencing a special recipe that spurs chocolate flow without oil, they build their elegantly displayed fountains to heights of up to 44 inches. After teaching venus fly traps the importance of oral hygiene, customers can expand the fountain's uses with a selection of dipping items ($2.35+/guest), including strawberries, pound cake, pretzel rods, and caramel squares. The staff also helps put a stamp on celebrations by carving ice sculptures.
The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
The trainers at Ultimate Body Boot Camp forage through the workout wilderness to curate a fitness omnibus. They pull from multiple exercise styles—including Pilates, plyometrics, kickboxing, yoga, and core work—to build workouts that combine the benefits of cardio and resistance training. This earned the program a top spot on Arizona Foothills magazine's Best of Our Valley list for 2012.
To keep clients' muscles from hitting the wall, getting bored, or taking off in the dead of night to pursue a career as an anatomy textbook model, coaches change the routine each class and give campers personalized tips to fuel individual journeys. Body-composition tests and nutritional plans augment the sessions, inspiring long-lasting habits for healthy physiques.
Students build skills necessary for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industries with Bartending and Casino College's hands-on training programs. Each 40-hour bartending course is divided into 14 distinct sections, which train attendees in how to set up a bar, knowledgably describe different spirits, and make as many as 200 popular cocktails in a single cement mixer. Shifting its focus from behind a bar to behind felt-lined tables, the casino school shows students how to handle cards and read hands for poker and blackjack. The school also teaches how to dexterously spin and flip bottles in bar-flair training sessions and offers job-placement assistance to all of its graduates.