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BCAE Staffers Hit Up the Boston Food Trucks

  
  
  

Boston food trucksWe may have said goodbye to the heat of summer (although the hot burst this past weekend was a nice treat), but this might actually be the best time of year for a picnic lunch. We're embracing the chill in the air and continuing one of our favorite pastimes...food truck lunches!

Here at 122 Arlington, we are fortunate to be walking distance from a number of food truck spots, and we're taking the time to share some of our experiences (and favorites!) with you, while it's still warm enough to enjoy them.

BON ME

With lots of options to please different tastes (rice bowl, noodle salad, sandwich, noodle soup and an array of rotating protein fillings), Bon Me is a popular truck choice here at the BCAE.

Bon Me food truck

On this particular occasion, this BCAE staffer went for the soba noodle salad with the roasted soy and paprika tofu. And the thai basil limeade is an excellent thirst quencher, definitely worth the purchase.

RHYTHM 'N WRAPS

Looking for something on the lighter side? Rhythm 'n Wraps has got something for you...specializing in all vegetarian sandwiches bursting with fresh produce and with a variety of meat substitutes.

Rhythm 'N Wraps

We like the "Resolution Wrap," Romaine Lettuce and greens, tomato and cucumber salad, sprouts, avocado, shredded carrots, fresh hummus, lemon and mint vinaigrette on a flatbread.

CAMEO MACARON

But health can't always be top-of-mind here at the BCAE, and we do often crave something sweet. These little french treats are a common favorite.

macaron

Photo Credit: @anasantos
We were thrilled to host a Cameo Macaron pop-up for them earlier this year, and we love that they now have a truck that stops nearby!

MEI MEI

We always love the creativity that comes from this adorable blue and yellow truck. We've heard that the way to a (wo)man's heart is through her/his stomach, and these folks know how to hit ya where it counts.

Mei Mei Street Kitchen curry
Like with this gooey, crunchy, spicy, creamy coconut milk-filled concoction they call a Vegetable Thai Curry A.K.A. comfort food in a box.

Mei Mei Street Kitchen Double Awesome

...or the aptly named "Double Awesome," a poached then fried egg and cheese scallion pancake sandwich.

We also couldn't be happier to have Mei Mei on board to cook at our annual fundraiser on March 12th, Chew on This: Kicked Up Classics! Stay tuned for an announcement soon regarding ticket sales.

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Follow our adventures, inside the BCAE and out around town, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!


An Afternoon at the Downeast Cidery

  
  
  

We are thrilled to have the Downeast Cider team teaching a food and cider pairing class in October. We were so excited, in fact, that we wanted a little preview, so last Friday we went to Charlestown to see the cidery in action.

Downeast Cider bar

Walking in, you find the Downeast Cider bar, complete with ciders on tap...

Downeast Cider swag table

...as well as a wide array of Downeast swag...shirts, stickers, jars and more. But then we got to it, hearing directly from co-founder/owner Tyler about how Downeast came to be what it is today. He even gave us a sample of the cider in its early stages directly from one of the tanks.

Downeast cider art

If you've seen their artistically designed cans and logos, you'd know that just a regular boring warehouse wouldn't have worked for the Downeast crew. They even commissioned artists to paint one of the walls...reimbursing them with their weight in cider (yes, really).

Downeast Cider graffiti

But not all of the decorations are outside jobs. Some like the graffiti'd name on this tank or the christmas lights and surfboards strung up are all courtesy of the employees.

Downeast cidery

Downeast Cider canning process

We got to watch the canning process firsthand, as the empty shells of cans were filled, capped and then handpacked in crates for distribution.

Downeast cider lineup

Downeast Cider is currently producing four flavors...orginal, cranberry, hard honey, and lemonade.

Downeast Cider cans

We got to sample the different flavors and yes, they taste as good as they look in their colorful cans.

Downeast cider sign and mascot

We had a blast learning about Downeast Cider from their enthusiastic staff and of course Morty, their loyal mascot, and we can't wait to see what they do next.

Taste and learn with Downeast here at the BCAE October 17th!

Food & Cider Pairing with Downeast Cider
Friday, October 17th 6:30PM - 8:30PM

Healthy Summer Sides & Snacks with Leah Dickerson

  
  
  

This week, I had the pleasure of taking my first class with resident BCAE chef, Leah Dickerson. This time it was Mom's pick, and she chose Healthy Summer Sides & Snacks to be her first BCAE class, and our first class together.

Right from the start Leah had all of the students, myself included, busy at work preparing the meal (and drinks!) we would be enjoying.

We started off with a tart and refreshing frozen ginger lemonade, and we had the option to add a little vodka. Watch the freezing process in action here.

While the drink was freezing, we started on the food. A corn pancake, filled with fresh corn kernels and topped with a little fresh cucumber, sour cream, and some more corn.

Fresh corn cakes

Next up: Avocado Toast with Bacon and Tomato

We grilled some fresh Iggy's bread, rubbed the slices with a bit of garlic and olive oil, then loaded them up with fresh tomato, avocado, and a little bacon.

Avocado tomato bacon toast

Then, for even more freshness, we finished the toasts off with a little arugula.

Avocado bacon tomato arugula toast

As Leah said, you really could put anything on it! So while I was dreaming of all of the delicious potential combinations, I took her advice literally and topped my tomato, avocado, bacon, arugula toast with a corn cake and cucumber. While not the prettiest thing I've created, it was pretty delicious.

Corn cake and bruschetta

Before we arrived, Leah had put two whole eggplants in the oven, and we joined her to take them out when they were perfectly cooked.

Roasted eggplant

We turned the freshly roasted eggplants into a light and delicious babaghanoush that we put on pita chips we made on the grill!

Oh, but there was more. Mini turkey sliders, seasoned with a little garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and cooked on the grill. I had personally always been wary of turkey burgers for their bad reputation of being dry and flavorless--FAR FROM IT, these burgers wer juicy and packed with flavor.

Turkey burgers on the grill

We grilled up some whole wheat pita with some Jarlsberg cheese, and stuffed our burgers in. Again, I reached for some of our other previously used ingredients to complete my mini sandwich: avocado, tomato, and a little babaghanoush.

Turkey burger in a pita

And nothing completes a meal like a sweet finish. Prosecco and berries and whipped cream with honey, lemon, mint and more berries!

Dessert and a drink

Needless to say, my mom and I had a blast! With tons of fresh-as-can-be ingredients (and a few less healthy accents thrown in), we left happy, healthy, and satisfied.

UPCOMING CLASSES WITH LEAH:

August

Light, Fresh, and Healthy: Summertime Dinner Party
- 8/13  

September/October
Early Bird: take 30% off when you register by this Saturday, 8/9!

Naturally Nutritious - 9/10

Good & Good for You
- 9/25

Breakfast of Champions: Build a Better Breakfast - 9/28

Basic Vegetarian Cooking: Meatless Meals for Everyone - 10/8

A Clean Eating Paleo Dinner Party: Appetizer, Main Dish and Dessert - 10/16

African Cooking: Ethiopia & Beyond - A Night with Chef Diane Manteca

  
  
  

Last week, I got the chance to attend one of longtime BCAE Chef Diane's classes. Of the 20 years of BCAE classes she has taught, this was her first focused on Ethopian cooking! The idea came about when a student requested the class about a year ago, and Diane has since set about the task of learning as much as possible about the cuisine and how to prepare it.

Diane prepping

All I can say is that I was impressed by how much we were able to cook (and eat!) within a quick 3 hour class. We made three main dishes, the Ethipoian flat bread, Injera, as well as Nit'r Qibe, the traditional spiced butter. We even got to dip into the plethora of spices Diane had brought with her to create our own "berbere" spice pack to take home!

Veggies

We started with the teff stew, chopping onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes, sauteeing them all in a large wok with a variety of spices.

Sweet potatoes in pan

We then added vegetable stock, lentils, and teff (Fun fact from Diane: teff is the smallest grain in the world!), covered the pan and let it all simmer. We finished it off with lemon juice, garnished with cilantro, and we had a thick and hearty vegetarian stew packed with flavor!

Teff Stew

Next up: Doro Wat, spicy chicken stew. Here we got to cook chicken thighs with the iconic berbere spice mix (check out that red color below), ginger, and garlic to infuse the chicken with all of that spicy goodness.

Doro Wat

Traditionally, hard boiled eggs are added into the pot with the chicken, but this time we left them as garnish.

Doro Wat plated

Our next task was the African curry. While this can be done with a variety of proteins, we used shrimp. Curry powder, tumeric, and coconut cream gave this dish that gorgeous yellow color and creamy consistency.

Chef Diane finishes shrimp

Finished with fresh bananas and shredded coconut, this dish was my personal favorite!

Shrimp Curry

We each got to fry up our own individual injera (like pancakes!) And my plate full of injera, chicken, and curry (I ate the teff stew earlier) was perfection.

Plate of African food

Diane is an absolute delight to take a class with, and there are many more opportunities to join her in the kitchen through the end of summer and into fall!

UPCOMING CLASSES WITH DIANE MANTECA:

August
Cooking for One or Two: Greek Edition 
8/7/2014
Sensational Summer Sides: Cooking outSIDE the box!    
8/13/2014
Dreamy Dolce: Italian Desserts  
8/14/2014
Lunch Break: Pestos, Vinaigrettes & Salads     
8/21/2014
Sauces of the World     
8/21/2014
Down & Dirty Food and Booze
8/22/2014

September & October
Cooking with Wines
9/11/2014
Pizza and Calzones    
9/18/2014
Fresh Fish Made Fabulous 
9/24/2014
The Art of Pasta Making    
9/25/2014
How to Navigate & Cook the Farmers Market
9/30/2014
Mediterranean Mezze: Food & Wine Pairing
10/3/2014
It's Raining Meatballs: Beef, Turkey, and Tofu  
10/4/2014
Eat Your Way Through Tuscany   
10/22/2014
Autumn Soups    
10/23/2014
A Moroccan Dinner
10/29/2014


BCAE Student Spolight: Marissa Grace

  
  
  

We love learning about our students! Today we’re highlighting Marissa who works in event marketing and is passionate about photography. Recently Marissa took our Beginner Digital Photography Weekend Workshop with Instructor Chris Padgett and is ready to take her work to the next level! She has a great eye and documents her creative inspiration over at marissagrace.com. Warning: her photos will make you hungry.

Marissa Grace photo

1. We love your food photos! What are some of your favorite places in the city to grab a bite?

Thank you so much! I have a few regular places I frequent - I can always go for a good charcuterie plate or pizza so I'm at the Salty Pig in Back Bay quite a bit. I'm also a huge fan of Row 34 & Eastern Standard. Publick House is one of my favorites as well - I always go when I want to be adventurous with some new beers. Oh, and their monks frites. I also find myself craving BLTs from Flour Bakery more than I think is normal.

2. What type of camera do you typically use?

All the photos I have currently were taken from my iPhone 5! I just bought the Canon t3i & it was my first time using it in the beginner class. I'm stoked to see what I can do with it!

Marissa Grace photos

3. You recently took our Beginning Digital Photography: Weekend Workshop class. Can you share a tip that you learned in class? 

I've actually never used a digital camera prior to the beginner photography class! I took about 15 pages of notes, there is so much for me to learn! I think a good tip was to completely ignore any of the pre-set modes. It has given me a really great understanding of the camera - we went into detail with each setting, button & menu. This has been a great tip because it has allowed me to dig much deeper & get exactly what I want out of the camera.

4. What other BCAE classes have caught your eye?

So many! I saw a class dedicated to muffins & croissants, that definitely caught my eye. I bought Joanne Chang's Flour Bakery cookbook so I could attempt to make her breads & pastries! I would love to learn about wine & cheese as well, so naturally The Wine, Cheese & Chocolate class stood out to me. Having a design background I am always interested in keeping up with the software & learning all the tools I can, so some of the intensive Adobe classes are definitely in my future.


5. What do you love most about Boston?

There are so many things I love about Boston - the people, the walkability, the events, the food! Theres always something to do & there is a great sense of community. I work in event marketing so I've been to a lot of amazing events & new companies recently. Lots of start-up businesses, farmers markets, art events, fitness classes - I learn or see something new everyday & I am constantly inspired.

If you're interested in being featured in a BCAE Student Spotlight email us at marketing@bcae.org!

An Afternoon with Urban Grape's Beer Expert Ben Bouton

  
  
  

Ben Bouton at the Urban Grape

Last week, we were able to visit Ben Bouton at The Urban Grape in the South End. He was so kind to meet with us even just days before his wedding! (HUGE congratulations by the way Ben!)

The Urban Grape (and Urban Hops, as the beer collection is aptly named) is stunning and impressive, and it is easy to see why a beer aficionado like Ben Bouton would want to spend his days there.

Urban Grape South End

Urban Grape South End

Urban Grape South End

We are so lucky that Ben spends many of his nights at the BCAE sharing his wealth of craft beer knowledge with eager students.

Recent classes Ben has taught include Burgers & Beer (with burger team Richard & Katie of Boston Burger Blog and Small Boston Kitchen) and Trappist Beer-- and those were just last week!

Trappist beer

But Ben will be back with some awesome classes in August and into September and October. We talked to Ben about his upcoming classes and got some great insider insights and tips, all while exploring the beautiful store!

International Beer: IPAs of the World! - Friday, August 8th 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

This class will focus on IPAs (India Pale Ales), the second most popular beer category, just behind seasonal beers, as Ben informed us. He also gave us a little history lesson...IPAs orginate from England and were originally called Pale Ales. They were shipped to India but they would spoil on the voyage. Brewers added more and more hops to preserve the beer, and thus created the bitter brew we now know. IPAs do not always have to be so bitter, Ben explained, because the hops varies depending on where in the world it comes from.

Ben's favorite IPA: Notch Brewing Company's Left of the Dial

Beer Selection at Urban Grape South End

Taking on the Trend: Session Beer - Friday, August 22nd 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Session beers are categorized by drinkability, with 5% or less alcohol content, so you can have multiple in a sitting, perfect for gatherings of friends or family. As Ben so aptly put, "nobody likes a sloppy friend."

Ben's favorite Session Beer: Mahr's Bräu Leicht

beer display Urban Grape South End

Coming up in our September/October term...

Local Treasures: Beers of Massachusetts - Tuesday, October 28th 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

We knew Massachusetts had a fair number of breweries, but we didn't know that there are 50 breweries within a 50 mile radius from Boston! There is a wide variety of sizes and types of beer, and people are really "pushing the envelope," according to Ben. Students who take this class will sample a number of local beers and really "be able to put a face to the name."

REGISTRATION FOR FALL OPENS 7/28!
And our Early Bird 30% off sale starts that day and ends 8/9.

Ben's favorite local brewery: Mystic Brewery (pictured below)

Mystic Brewery

We hope you can join us for one of Ben's upcoming beer classes, and we also highly recommend stopping by the store!

Urban Grape South End beer selection

 

 

A Dining Tour of the Seaport with Yankee Magazine's Amy Traverso

  
  
  

BCAE Dining Tour of Boston SeaportJoin Yankee Magazine’s heralded Food and Wine editor, Amy Traverso for a night of dining and insider knowledge in some of the Seaport's best restaurants! Amy will take you for a flavorful tour of Sam’s, Tavern Road, Pastoral, and Row 34. Diners will enjoy an insider’s view of each restaurant, and special bites at each location {cash bar}. Don’t miss YOUR chance to dine with a fabulous food critic for the night!

TUESDAY, JULY 29th 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
$40 / $34 members / $40 materials

Sign up here while there is still space!

It's Barbecue Season!

  
  
  

steaks

Barbecue season is finally here, and with 4th of July around the corner, it's gonna be a busy one. So we're breaking out the grill and all of the things that go with it, and we've got a great line-up of classes to take your grilling and chilling skills up a notch or two.

Is your BBQ all about the meat? Check out these classes:

Toasty Buns: Burgers to Blow Your Mind - Thursday, July 24th
Burger pros Richard (Boston Burger Blog), and Katie (Small Boston Kitchen), will teach you the tricks to making the perfect burger, and all of the fixings, every time.

Smokin Hot: Classic Summer BBQ - Saturday, August 16th
Dustin Rennells will cover all you need to know to impress your meat-loving guests...from grill temperature to marinades and rubs and so much more!

Is your BBQ just as much about the booze as it is about the food? These ones are for you:

Burgers & Beer - Wednesday, July 16th
Burger experts Richard & Katie welcome Urban Grape's beer expert, Ben Bouton for a class on the ultimate food & drink pair.

The Best Wines for a Summer BBQ - Wednesday, July 23rd
Beer is usually the star of the backyard barbecue, but break out the glassware and bring some wine to the next one with help from this class.

Bourbon and Bar-B-Que - Tuesday, August 19th
Whiskey and bourbon master Randall Bird goes through the best bourbons to go with your barbecue, and he's bringing in a meat-full dinner to complete the meal.

Taking a turn from the classic and moving your BBQ to the beach?

Creative Clambakes - Saturday, July 19th
Dustin Rennells is mixing up the New England tradition with inventive sides and more that you don't wanna miss!

clambake

Whatever your cookout inclinations are this summer, we've got classes galore. Browse them all here. Can anybody else smell the charcoal? #smellslikesummer

Series Spotlight: Boston's Rarely Seen

  
  
  

This summer, we are thrilled to be running a brand new series that highlights some local Boston treasures. But we're not just visiting these spots, we're giving students a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes at each to see what typical visitors never do. For history buffs and curious Bostonians alike, the "Rarely Seen" classes are can't-miss activites for summer. The series includes three single-session classes, each a visit to a different location. Registration for each is separate.

Rarely Seen at the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center - Thursday, July 24th

Leventhal Map Center BostonThe Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library houses a collection of over 200,000 maps and 5,000 atlases dating from the 15th century to the present. Led by Map Center experts, this up-close look at the collection will feature treasures not currently on display -- including richly colored Dutch atlases from the age of exploration and other unusual items such as a Revolutionary era powder horn carved with a map of Bunker Hill. A treat for map enthusiasts and historians alike, this program also includes a tour of the current Map Center exhibition, City of Neighborhoods.

Rarely Seen at the Otis House - Thursday, August 14th

Otis House Boston
Join Historic New England staff for a visit to the 1796 Otis House Museum followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of the Library and Archives. Museum Operations Manager Melinda Huff will lead a tour of the elegantly furnished Beacon Hill residence of Harrison Gray Otis and his wife, Sally. Otis was a congressman and real estate entrepreneur who lived and entertained lavishly in this home designed by their friend, Charles Bulfinch. The tour will visit the third floor of the house, a space not on view to the public. Following the house tour, Senior Curator Lorna Condon will highlight some of her favorite photographs, prints, architectural drawings, and ephemera in Historic New England’s vast Library and Archives. Explore the history of the collection and current collecting areas. Historic New England has more than one million archival items that document New England's social, architectural, and cultural history.

Rarely Seen at the Massachusetts Historical Society - Tuesday, August 19th

Massachusetts Historical Society artifacts
Discover the hidden treasures of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the oldest institution of its kind in the United States. You’ll view noteworthy manuscripts, such as letters exchanged by John and Abigail Adams, and whimsical artifacts, including a 1912 Red Sox World Series medal. This behind-the-scenes event will also introduce you to some of the Society’s rarely seen gems, including Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings and epaulettes worn by George Washington. You will also learn more about how we conserve and care for our treasures as you tour the conservation lab and our collection storage area.

Each of these classes will allow you to discover a wealth of Boston treasures AND they are each only $25! They are filling quickly, so register today.

Not Your Typical ESL Program

  
  
  

ESL class at the BCAE

ESL: English as a Second Language. An ESL class can mean a variety of things, but upon first glance, many take it to mean lessons in the basics, English for people who are brand new to it, and are looking to better their English skills for day-to-day use. The good news? We offer those classes in a range of formats to fit the schedules of our students. The better news? Our ESL department goes far beyond that.

For those who are brand new to the English language, we offer English for Beginners, followed by Intermediate English and then Advanced English, all offered in either mornings or evenings.

ESL student studying at BCAE

But mastery of the English language requires more than basic conversational and writing skills. Boston is home to a large number of international businesspeople, and many of them are in need of specialized ESL support that goes beyond the conversational basics to include pronunciation and accent reduction, as well as better business writing practices. Here at the BCAE, we offer several high-level English language courses. The following are two options that we recommend for the non-native English speaking professionals in your office or work environment.

American English Pronunciation
Do you have a co-worker who, while excellent at his/her job, is sometimes difficult to understand when speaking? All languages have different sounds and ways of blending sounds. Many non-native speakers are also schooled in British English versus American English, which can make the adjustment to American English especially difficult. This course allows the non-native speaker to learn about American English phonology, and provides training for exercising the mouth muscles necessary to reproduce our sound system. This course also allows students to improve their listening and speaking as they become more aware of sound patterns and how native speakers blend words and phrases. 

Write Better, Right Now: Better Business Writing
Some of the most successful businesspeople struggle when it comes to writing, especially those whose first language is not English. All countries have different writing styles and standards for what is considered acceptable in the professional world. This, naturally, is no different for the USA. This course allows the non-native speaker to develop professional writing skills in English. In this course, students learn about U.S. writing standards and develop proper email and business writing etiquette. Students will also develop editing skills to eliminate reliance on co-workers and the dreaded Google Translate.  

These courses are designed to help non-native English speaking professionals stand out in the business world not for their language differences, but for their knowledge and talents, and therefore excel in a business setting at the same rate as a native English speaker.

Click here for to browse our full assortment of ESL classes. While these classes are listed in the catalog under specific times, we are often able to tailor schedules to fit the needs of you or your group.

BCAE ESL Graduation

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about these courses, please feel free to email our ESL director, Ashley Valentini, at avalentini@bcae.org.

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