Perched atop wooden stools along the lengthy counter of Whats Cooking D’s kitchen, culinary students participate in hands-on cooking classes, supper-club evenings, and beer- and wine-brewing demonstrations. Homey wood cabinets, polished steel ovens, and checkerboard wall tiles act as the backdrop for adult classes covering topics such as kitchen fundamentals, complex recipes, and which end of the butcher knife is the handle. Kids’ classes incorporate fun activities, such as cake and cupcake decorating, and parent-child cooking classes allow kids to eat free and adults to take a break from dinnertime cleanup. The kitchen also turns into a brewery for wine- and beer-crafting classes, with an experienced brewmaster teaching libation-making techniques and that alcohol makes you feel feelings.
On any given night at Gordon's Fine Wines & Liquors, guests might hear staff instructors share their favorite French wines or introduce a Speyside scotch. They might also see guest sommeliers, local brewers, or winemakers discuss the production regions and flavors of their most cherished varietals. For more than 75 years, Gordon’s has been a beacon for such talented flavor enthusiasts, recruiting a team of specialized instructors that has earned the alcohol emporium the title of Massachusetts Beverage Business 2012 Retailer of the Year. These professionals have never tired of spinning out lessons—touching on wine education, beer and spirits, cooking, and wine-and-food pairings, which immerses visitors in how to successfully marry cheeses and wines without their parents getting all bent out of shape.
Yet apart from the knowledge spread therein and the discussions bubbling with poignant enthusiasm behind the shelves, Gordon’s also serves as a supplier. Its shelves abound with hundreds of wines—including kosher wines—from every continent except Antarctica, more than 500 types of craft beer, and 300 single-malt scotches.
Professional bartenders teach in classrooms set up as fully functioning bars. The facilities present lifelike conditions for students to learn skills such as the proper shake and pour for a variety of cocktails, muddling raw ingredients, and getting the right amount of head on a draft beer. Courses also cover the technical elements of bartending, which may include setting up drink stations, understanding liquor laws and board-of-health requirements, and operating payment systems that accept both credit cards and gold ingots.
Founded by certified beer judge Michael Bernier, DIY Brewing Supply equips and educates patrons in the arts of at-home fermentation procedures and food construction. Beginner's brewing classes steer students through four hours of crafting an extract beer and ingesting significant brewing concepts. Aspiring homebrewers learn to settle down yeast and barley for a midday nap in the mashtub, as well as how to perform simple troubleshooting should a batch end up tasting like lasagna. Winemaking classes help students study grapey elixirs on the journey from fermentation to sanitation to staining cashmere sweaters. Students can also round out their education with a mozzarella-making class and a one-hour coffee-roasting class, where they roast 1 pound of coffee.
After learning the tricks of the brewing trade, guests can stock up on the tools with DIY's extensive selection of wine and beer-making equipment. Homebrewers can create their own batches of booze with kegs, recipe lists, yeasts, and plenty of literature and books.
Nutritionist and chef Mala Patel guides participants through a demonstration and hands-on, introductory class that covers essential spices and techniques of Indian cooking. Sessions such as classic vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine, Street Side Foods and a samosa workshop ensure fingers don't get bored and wander onto other people's plates. Small classes consisting of no more than 10 chefs-in-training intimately explore meat and veggie dishes flavored by aromatic spices, garlic, ginger, and green chilies. Students use fresh, ingredients to prepare a meal from scratch and leave with a folder of all recipes covered during the class.
New Hampshire Bartending School offers aspiring libation-concocters the training to become professional bartenders and veteran mixologists a chance to hone in their craft. With the first deal, you'll get 32 hours of classes at New Hampshire Bartending School's premises, learning the ins and outs of drink-making from instructors with more than 30 years of bartending experience. This course can be completed either during the day Monday–Thursday, in the evenings Monday–Friday, over four Saturdays, or over two full weekends. The second deal compacts the course into an intensive two-day on-premises class, (currently scheduled from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays), while the third deal gets you a similar experience off-premises, with the focus solely on drink-making and lacking only the unlimited practice time offered on-site at the school. Upcoming off-premises courses will be held in Orono, Portsmouth, and Concord, and they will take place on Friday evenings and Saturdays during the day. With these courses, you'll get inside info on the secret to concocting a soul-reviving martini, extensive training on how to serve alcohol safely, access to the government's underground vodka reserves, plus the confidence to create more than 100 drinks on your own.