Named Best Honey in 2008 by the Dallas Observer, Round Rock Honey's 100% natural local wildflower honey is harvested from more than 90 sites by owners Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard and their crews of trained beekeepers. With precision, they remove the liquid gold from hives by centrifuge, ensuring that pollen, trace minerals, and complex sugars are never compromised during the honey harvest. They then pour the honey through a stainless-steel sieve to remove potential bee legs and wings, wax caps, and miniature tiaras before bottling it and selling it to specialty stores, farmer's market visitors, and online customers.
A similar procedure happens in other parts of the country at Round Rock's beekeeping schools. During classes, Konrad Bouffard and Beekeeping Academy teachers impart their beekeeping knowledge upon suited-up students while they extract honey from a live beehive. Along the way, novices learn about the finer points of raising bees and keeping them healthy, as well as bee handling and lullaby-buzzing.
Saltwater runs through the veins of the passionate instructors at Spinnaker Sailing. Attuned to the winds and waves of the San Francisco Bay, they've taught aspiring sailors how to navigate the waters with lessons that emphasize both skill and safety. The team also maintains an affiliation with the American Sailing Association, upholding high training standards as they show all levels of sailors, including kids, how to captain watercraft from keelboats to coastal cruisers.
In addition to helping sailors obtain ASA certifications, Spinnaker Sailing oversees a sailing club, as well as coordinate local charters, skippered cruises, and sailing vacations to storied destinations such as Tahiti and Valhalla. The fleet, which includes 22- to 40-foot yachts, launches into the waters of San Francisco bay from Redwood City Marina.
Darryl Kalthof of Bay Area Flying Lessons holds an FAA certificate as an airline transport pilot and ratings as an advanced ground instructor, honors earned over a distinguished two-decade career as a certified flight instructor. Today, he oversees a fleet of Cessna and Piper airplanes that act as airborne classrooms for his pupils, who range from 10-year-olds taking their first mechanical flights to advanced pilots earning certificates in commercial, multi-engine, and tail-wheel aviation. Lessons make use of the airspace surrounding San Francisco Bay, yielding panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean as well as many notable landmarks, including Dumbarton Bridge’s low ribbon of road and Stanford Stadium’s 70-foot animatronic statue of Bill Walsh.
Brusque commands and sharp criticism never cross the lips of Peninsula Fencing Academy’s head coaches Jay and Chris. They believe that encouragement is always a more effective way to drive students toward their competitive goals. That’s why the entire coaching staff practices positive reinforcement in youth and adult fencing classes for all skill levels. This approach helps coaches teach everything from fundamental footwork and blade work to competitive maneuvers as their students find extra support in peers through bonds of camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Though they come from different backgrounds, the three chefs behind Kids Culinary Adventures have all seen the positive impact that cooking has on children. Chef Brian Allen honed his cooking technique at California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality Management program, but he's been comfortable in the kitchen since childhood, when he would cook and bake with his father, mother, and grandfather. Chef Danielle Nunes also grew up in the kitchen, learning many of her grandmother's secret family recipes and discovering her passion for multicultural dishes. Pastry chef Caitlin Allen fine-tuned her baking skills at Walt Disney World's Yacht and Beach Bakery. Now, they coordinate private cooking classes, camps, and themed culinary-focused birthday parties for children of all ages.
Many of their programs combine the culinary arts with lessons in math, reading, science, and visual arts. During private custom cooking classes, they work with individuals and groups to coordinate custom menus based on Italian, Mexican, or Asian recipes. Calibrated for kids as young as 3 years, their classes encourage proper nutrition and creative meal preparation, and teach kitchen cleanliness with visual aids such as "kitchen cooties," a culinary toolbox, and teddy bears carved out of soap. In multi-day camps, chefs teach academics and professional skills that help children execute DIY culinary tasks such as building a themed holiday menu, baking and decorating a cake, or mastering tools such as grills or woks.
In several locations across the United States, ABC Languages instills the basics of more than 20 languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish in those who have little to no experience with the tongue. These students have included celebrities—such as Uma Thurman, who practiced her Japanese for Kill Bill through ABC Languages—as well as employees of corporations such as the NBA and several international banks. Lessons take place in a group format (with a limit of 10 students) or one-on-one, and special lessons for kids are also available.