The Wine & Spirit Archive coaches near-sommeliers and mere fermented-grape devotees on the nuances of Dionysus' drink of choice. Toast a finished workweek with a friend or juice up a blind date with a Friday night wine tasting. The Wine & Spirit Archive's tasting schedule showcases vinos that are seasonally relevant (Champagne and sparkling wines for the holidays) and regionally specific (wines of Rioja, Spain, or unique grapes of Greece). These tastings prep palettes to differentiate between vintage and non-vintage, traditional and modern, and between wine and experimental-super-soldier serum. The environment encourages a laid-back, low-pressure evening as you sip and swish through five contrasting wines.
Masala's culinary master, Sophie imparts knowledge of Indian cuisine during a three-hour class that yields a four-course meal. Sophie guides students through the cuisine of different Indian locales, such as Agra, home of the Taj Mahal; Gujarat, birthplace of Gandhi; and Kerala, an Indian state known for its saris made of lettuce. Pupils tone cooking muscles by preparing pillau—basmati rice with saffron, golden raisins, and almonds—as well as khatte baigan—eggplant with sweet and sour sauce—and shaak, cauliflower with spices. Classes wrap up with the preparation of a traditional Bengali dessert, after which learners may take home printed recipes, a sample spice packet, and a jar of Sophie’s homemade chutney. Classes take place on Fridays or Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ghanaian cuisine leans heavily on a sauce combining peppers, onions, ginger, oil, tomatoes, and shrimp. The pepper and ginger slice through the gentle acidity of tomatoes and the sweetness of shrimp, complementing both meat and vegetable dishes. The cooks behind Delight of Africa started out making batches as a favor to friends and family. Today, they still follow a recipe for the sauce handed down from their grandparents, using only fresh ingredients and never adding preservatives or food coloring. They also hold cooking lessons, teaching groups to re-create traditional West African recipes and broaden their horizons without the dangers of touching a spinning globe.
When party planners enlist the services of Chef Ron, they begin a working dialogue to reach a collaborative and personalized game plan for their occasion. If the host is short on ideas, an elegant list of menu options can quickly be whipped up. With a plan in place, Chef Ron will execute it with the precision of a diamond-tip paring knife, slicing down the aisles of the finest grocer in pursuit of the freshest ingredients.
Professional chefs and self-described "sassy babes” Melinda Casady and Susana Holloway teach home-cookers how to save time in the kitchen with their knife-techniques class. In an airy, light-filled classroom, groups of 12–24 cutters learn how to hold and use blades properly, which tools are essential and which aren’t, and how to trick messy pies into slicing themselves. Over the course of the three-hour session, students gain months' worth of kitchen confidence through knife-mastering techniques and the levity from the instructors' jokes. A mental bag of minute-saving tricks also comes with the tutorial, including methods for keeping kitchen scythes sharp. Classes are offered on a variety of different days, including Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings; check the calendar to secure the knowledge needed to slice up a peach without ruining its fuzzy coat.
Educating people on the rich and diverse cultures of Africa—and in particular, its cuisines—Spice of Africa hosts cooking classes and fundraisers where curious guests can immerse themselves in African flavors, even if it's just for a few hours. Putting on some African music to set the tone for the evening, teachers lead groups through hands-on demonstrations, where they'll learn various names for ingredients, how to craft dishes from scratch, and the proper pronunciation of "yum" in Swahili. Spice of Africa often hosts fundraisers for Feed the Village, a local project that helps to further the development of families through education and by building healthy, sustainable habits.