Equipped with varied experience and an in-depth knowledge of alcohol and service regulations, the instructors at Fine Art Bartending School guide their students toward mixology mastery or job placement in the bartending industry during intensive eight-day courses. While many schools focus solely on the craft, Fine Art's instructors also hone customer service skills through a guest bartending program at local bars and clubs—teaching students tip-enhancing approaches and how to graciously deflect customer's attempts at Bryan Adams sing-alongs. They also hold individual classes targeted at everyday drinkers, divulging industry-style instructions for blending specific drinks, performing difficult mixes, or pouring the perfect beer.
The name of the game at Harkness & Co. Butchers is ethics: all of the meat it sells comes from local producers who follow humane and ethical farming practices. The staff receives organic meats and breaks down the entire animal in-house, ensuring that each cut is precise and that customers can find any piece of the animal, whether it's beef, pork, or poultry. Shoppers can pick up local free-range, nonmedicated beef, which gets dry-aged for at least 28 days to develop a rich, tender flavour profile. Prepared products include housemade sausages—available in classic Italian-style and chorizo varieties—as well as seasonal-spiced links and weekly specials. For those looking to cook with more exotic options, such as bison, goat, and unicorn, Harkness & Co. can order most meats to the store. Additionally, butchers lead classes in a stone-floored training annex on topics that include pasta making, butchery, and wine tasting.
In addition to being one of the Pacific Northwest's most well-known equipment purveyors for culinary artists, boasting a retail space that brims with a seemingly endless variety of pots, pans, and paring knives, Cookshop also recruits 100 of the region's top chefs and wine experts to serve on the Cookschool faculty. The school curriculum encompasses a variety of global cuisines—including Thai, Italian, and Indian—and demonstrates the finer points of dessert with classes such as Wilton cake decorating and Chef Survival 101: Self-Defense with a Melon Baller.
Cut down on cooking time with Quince's Express selection of handmade to-go fare, vacuum-packed for flavour and freshness. Using as many top-tier local and sustainable ingredients as possible, chef Andrea Jefferson produces an ever-changing menu of dishes. Recent heat-and-serve items have included a braised Mediterranean lamb osso bucco with chickpeas (around $20), meatballs with roasted-garlic tomato sauce ($14.50), raspberry-glazed beets ($6.75), and garlic mashed potatoes ($6.75). Quince also offers finish-and-serve items such as seared organic chicken breast with preserved lemons and black olives as well as cook-and-serve feasts including cinnamon Fraser Valley duck breast and sumac-spiced tiger prawns. Check Quince's blog for the day's express menu. For conjoined twins struggling over what to eat before returning to their respective jobs at the lumber mill and the laundromat, a soup & salad special ($10) and a soup/salad & sandwich special ($10.75) are always available.
Rooted in the firm belief that cooking should not only be an experience and an art, the Foxglove Cooking School was founded by passionate Chef Jennifer Oliver. Her classes are designed for both beginners and seasoned gourmands, because Chef Jenn understands that everyone can enjoy cooking well, regardless of their skill in the kitchen. The school’s curriculum is diverse, ranging from medieval-themed cooking classes to stone-cold beginners’ lessons. All group classes feature super-fresh ingredients from nearby sources to help instill participants with an appreciation for beautiful, local cuisine. During sessions, Chef Jenn demonstrates how to craft three dishes, while students taste test each and place bets on how quickly she can mince an incriminating document.