At The Local Epicurean, owner Ryan Raredon, who has been profiled in the Grand Rapids Press, began pasta making as a hobby, before success at selling his noodles and seasonings in farmers’ markets inspired him to open his own store, where a panoply of handmade herb-infused sundries now resides. From pasta-making, Ryan has now expanded his store to include a Chocolate Lounge filled with delectable selections of cocoa-based confections. The store's newest space boasts a full chocolate menu with a wide selection of organic coffee and tea. Guests can opt for the Lounge's signature "Cha-Co-Lot" drink, delicately crafted and served in an antique silver coffee pot, a slice of triple chocolate cheesecake, or head to the paring stand to sample hand-made chocolates, dipped berries, cheeses, and breads. Patrons can satisfy their sweet-tooth cravings at The Chocolate Lounge seven days a week.
Chef Isaac introduces foodies to a palate-pleasing style of cooking he learned under the tutelage of his father, a student of legendary recipe maker Julia Child. While lingering in the aromas and sung notes that filled his childhood kitchen, he soaked up the skills that would lead him to create a menu that was praised by Dine Michigan. Roasted chicken tempts tongues alongside barbecue ribs, sliced pork tenderloin in a white-wine sauce, and handmade meatballs with vegetable-infused tomato sauce. One who vows to leave stomachs satisfied, Chef Isaac pairs his entrees with gourmet takes on mac 'n' cheese or warm spinach salad and ends meals with a sweet note, such as the apple flambé, which sizzles and spits like a surly tea kettle.
After experiencing a particularly long wait at a restaurant one evening, Chef Isaac decided to expand his culinary reach into the homes and minds of his clientele with a slew of delicious services. Cooking classes divulge his techniques with comfort foods and healthy cooking or guide students through the creation of specific dishes such as stuffed pasta with meatballs. Chef Isaac also brings his skills and signature menu into patrons' homes, thereby freeing up more time for them to spend with their families or search for patterns in taped episodes of Press Your Luck.
The crafty bakers at Cake N Candy offer an extensive curriculum in the art of building sweet treats of all shapes and sizes. Students learn the subtleties of cake decoration, dressing breads in icing, flowers, or the smooth, sugary shell of gum paste and fondant. Instructors teach trade secrets of splicing different varieties of cookies or making homemade candy that can cheer up even the grumpiest of nightclub bouncers. Instructors build moist and munchable cake pops or ride the waves of the cupcake craze with an array of recipes and decorating ideas. Classes range from one to four sessions, with some including additional costs for equipment and course books.
The staff at Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital knows the negative effect an unhealthy lifestyle can have on a person. They decided to fight back with a preventative strike by opening AL!VE: Your Community Well-Being Place. The 65,000-square-foot facility uses every inch of its space to promote healthy living. The sprawling site is nestled amid an 18-acre outdoor setting and houses countless fit-friendly amenities, including an exercise area and multi-purpose gym, walking paths, a women’s-only health center, and a space for physical, occupational, and speech outpatient rehabilitation.
With this much space comes a slew of programming and fitness classes for adults, teens, and kids that change with the seasons. Exercise isn’t the only component of the mission at AL!VE, however; the facility houses a demonstration teaching kitchen where guests can learn how to cook fresh meals. There's also a café where they can imagine how they’d look in a chef hat while a real chef prepares their meals.
Growing up in his mother's kitchen in Western France, Laurent Robic developed a natural enthusiasm for fresh food made tenderly from scratch. After attending culinary school, Robic minced and sautéed his way across Europe, picking up knowledge of different cuisines and broadening his foreign whisk collection. Eventually, Chef Laurent traveled to the states with his wife. Today, he's amassed over 20 years of professional experience, which he passes on to students of all ages and experience levels during an ever-rotating lineup of demonstrative and hands-on cooking classes. Whether he’s passing on the secrets of winter soups and stews, demonstrating the versatility of chicken’s many kitchen uses, or unlocking global tastes with country-themed courses, Chef Laurent honors his art with patient, friendly instruction. A noted chocolatier, he also lovingly crafts French-style truffles out of Ecuadorian chocolate certified by the Rainforest Alliance.