At Whisked Away, each three-hour, hands-on cooking class operates under the spicy eye of chef Maggie Norris, who worked with mega-chefs Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse, among others, during a post-culinary-school stint at the Food Network. Now cooking in the comforts of her home-style kitchen, Maggie conducts each lesson by progressing from recipe discussion to comprehensive prep time, leaving enough time at the end for a sit-down celebration of all pupil-prepared eats. The calendar currently includes themes such as “Cuban Influenced Dinner” on September 16, “Elegant Dinner Party Menu” on September 21, and “A Taste of New Orleans” on September 30. All ingredients, utensils, cookware, and hankies for mopping away tears of joy are provided.
Young Chefs Academy's seasoned and kid-minded instructors create a safe, interactive learning environment for budding epicureans ages 3–15 to develop a knowledge of food preparation in a smorgasbord of scheduled classes. In the Kindercooks program, children ages 3–5 eschew their bulb ovens and Play-Doh beef wellington recipes to learn the fundamental culinary language of the kitchen alongside their parents. Older students don puffed white hats and aprons for the Junior and Senior Chef courses, delving into monthly themes such as this October's spooky Halloween theme. Past gourmands have learned how to prepare refined alsatian quiches and homemade fudgesicles. Instructors inspire their students to think about everything involved in bringing ingredients to the table, from food preparation to kitchen safety and menu planning. Aspiring sous chefs also enhance their math, reading, and science skills as they measure out ingredients, follow recipes, and put Einstein's theory of handless spatula flipping to the test.
Smoke and fierce heat rise from a battalion of Weber gas grills and Big Green Egg smokers as barbecue docents line up in front of them, ready to wrangle rafts of raw meat into expertly grilled, smoked, and sauced feasts. In classes that range from three to seven hours, Phoenix BBQ and Grilling School's instructors impart their knowledge of sauces and marinades. They also teach students how to brine, smoke, and grill ingredients such as ribs, turkeys, chickens, peppers, pork, and veggies, all of which are provided. The three dudes in charge have been leading classes since 1998. Head honcho Stu McMullen draws upon myriad cooking classes and international travels to develop exciting recipes, while "sauce king" Eric Viken introduces sauces that can enchant palates and save accidentally overcooked meats. The barbecue experts hold classes onsite or in private backyards, enabling the family cat to finally learn to do something productive with its hunting gifts.
Taras Slipka brings something unique to the cakes that he crafts and decorates: an art degree. Drawing from training in Europe, Slipka uses his subtle, classically trained touch to transform delectable French-style pastries into stunning masterpieces. Dozens of styles and flavors cater to any occasion requiring a formally decorated pastry, from weddings to anniversaries to birthdays. Leaving the actual baking and cake construction out, Slipka's decoration classes use fake cakes. This allows pupils to focus solely on the frosting application, creating lifelike calla lilies or roses, perfect for training your dog to devour your nemesis’s flower garden.
Opened in 2007, Classic Cooking marches under the banner of classic French cooking techniques while using Native American ingredients and dietary foundations. Classically trained French chef and owner Pascal Dionot draws on his extensive training in France, Germany, and Spain to elucidate the finer points of cooking, dining, and fingertip kissing during cooking classes tailored for both career-minded gastronomers and novices. Catering services take Classic Cooking's French–Native American fusion on the road to feed handfuls of hungry partygoers or infinite imaginary friends.