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.
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 helps guide and refine culinary repertoires, creating homemade, multicourse Indian feasts during her classes. Combining comprehensive demonstrations with hands-on cooking experience, 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.
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Raw Food Central's store carries all the essential snacks, ingredients, and products to maintain a raw-food lifestyle. Customers can opt between two flavors of smoothies—banana almond or banana blueberry ($10 each)—for a blended healthy snack and a not-from-concentrate brain freeze. Flax crackers ($10) or kale chips ($10) make for a body-pleasing snack with tooth-pleasing crunch, ideal for in-between meals of giant, tree-sized broccoli. Raw Food Central advocates diets of vegan cuisine and vegetable juices to enhance health, with helpful, knowledgeable staffers and delicious demonstrations to help raw foodies stay on the straight, narrow, and uncooked.
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.
Savory Thymes is a personal catering service that delivers non-processed, health-conscious meals consisting of an entrée and choice of side. Current menu items include cranberry sauced turkey meatballs ($10.95), zippy baked ziti ($16.95), and roasted root vegetables ($5.95). Head Chef Ruth L'Hommedieu will deliver to residences and offices in the Greater Hartford area and orders must be placed by Friday. Unlike fiery stacks of magazines, dishes are delivered cold and will be safe in the refrigerator for up to four days before you follow the heating instructions to bring the flavors to life. Upon request, meals can be created to accommodate dietary considerations.