At Young Chefs Academy’s long, stainless-steel counter, diminutive cooks press their heads together, working sunshine-hued dough through a pasta roller or peering at recipes. The bank of ovens spills the scents of cooking sweets, and gaggles of young adults meander into teen classes, ready to gain culinary skills or bother a librarian by listening to blenders at maximum volume. Some weeks, the school concentrates on the recipes of a particular chef, with past sessions focusing on the works of Julia Child and Jamie Oliver. As holidays approach, the recipes turn towards the pumpkin-infused confections that define Halloween or the slow-roasted baskets traditionally eaten on Easter.
For the chefs at Home Run Cooking, being in the kitchen isn't just a necessary part of everyday life, but a fun and engaging adventure. This is the kind of attitude they aim to inspire in their students, whether they're experienced adults looking to learn a new dish, or curious kids aiming to up their lunchbox game. Classes cover a wide variety of topics, from pairing the perfect wine to go with a homemade dish to constructing the perfect summer salad that will stave off winter forever. Events are also built into cooking classes, such as Singles Night, where you can meet local singles while preparing a meal, and a BYOB food and wine date night.
Skilled cake decorators and sugar manipulators lead classes at Mother of Cakes, teaching at-home bakers how to create lavish desserts for special occasions. Some of their sweet and savvy talents have landed them televised appearances on Cake Boss, Food Network Challenge, and Shipping Wars. Their students tackle hands-on sessions that range in subject matter, from cake fundamentals for beginners to advanced courses that teach budding artists how to mold whimsical creations such as edible shoes.