Forget eating out. If you’d like to pick up some serious kitchen skills, consider a cooking class from The Viking Cooking School. The popular culinary academy is licensed through the Viking Range company, which supplies many of the high-quality ranges and ovens used in commercial kitchens throughout the world. In the classroom, students can work through a number of levels, from basic skills and recipe creation to more advanced techniques and hands-on sessions with instructors. The learning kitchen is large and modern, with steel Viking appliances and a large table for gathering to share creations, swap tips or get in close for a demonstration. Whether you’re a novice home cook or a professional chef looking for some new ideas, there are classes that can give your culinary efforts an extra kick at The Viking Cooking School.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette, safety, table setting, proper food handling, and more in youngsters who are growing up in a world full of laser can openers and pasta rakes. Classes vary at each location and educate a variety of age groups—with specially catered classes for the kindergarten elite (ages 3–5) and junior line cooks (around ages 6–11)—about basic food-prep skills for nutritional meals. Senior flambéists (teens and tweens) are offered advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity. Check out the respective schedules for North Druid Hills, Sandy Springs, and Duluth to see what appeals to you.
Members of the Atlanta Bar-B-Q Club aren?t just connected their shared tastes. These meat-lovers want to know everything about the craft and care put into savory barbecue meals. They satisfy this hunger for knowledge by gathering at a local barbecue joint for monthly ?meatings,? communal feasts where barbecue experts give cooking tips. Between the monthly events, members also enjoy discounts at restaurants, including Jim ?N Nicks and Pit Boss, all easily located thanks to the club-provided map of participating eateries and compass that always points towards the nearest plate of ribs. Members can attend invite-only parties hosted by fellow club members or chefs, tag along on field trips to the National BBQ Festival and other nearby cooking events, or judge dishes at the club?s own barbecue contest.
When discussing Nigerian cooking with reporters from Atlanta Goodlife Magazine, Kunmi Oluleye beamed, "it's something that I do blindfolded." After all, Kunmi has been cooking since the age of 8, whipping up meals for her parents and three younger siblings and baking traditional breads, meat pies, and sausage rolls at her father's bakery in Lagos, Nigeria. Today, she brings her time-honored family recipes and lifetime of expertise to her own catering company—Sheba Foods.
Aided by a staff of African chefs, Kunmi folds traditional spices into authentic dishes from the continent. Deep in the Sheba kitchen, the chefs simmer meaty stews and fry plantains while plump sausage rolls rise in the oven. They deliver the fresh, dried, and prepared foods to homes around the world and cater freshly made feasts at local special events and parties. Their products have been in the shelves of mainstream supermarkets for years, and they continue to expand into new markets and grow from the branches of lunchbox trees around the country.
It’s rare that a man knows how to build a flower, but Nicholas Lodge does, and he teaches his students how to do just that—with sugar. At the International Sugar Art Collection by Nicholas Lodge, Lodge and his team of confectioners teach their protégés not only to craft lifelike exotic sugar flowers, but also to roll fondant, manipulate buttercream, and create funky desserts, such as a cake laced into a chocolate corset.
Since 1992, Lodge—a sugar-craft expert who has worked for royalty—has helmed the center, which boasts a sister location in Tokyo. He has also traveled to more than 26 countries to showcase the versatility of his art with demonstrations, rather than simply planting mannequins made of sugar in each audience.