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Happy Thanksgiving from the BCAE! Last chance for Early Bird.

  
  
  

turkey
We're wishing you a VERY Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the BCAE! We hope you're celebrating with friends, family, and delicious food!

And we also wanted to give you a friendly reminder that our Early Bird sale ends on Saturday!

A few January & February highlights...

January & Feburary classes

Super Bowl Tuesday: Beer Tasting & Wing Making

Flamenco Dancing

Personal Cybersecurity: Keeping Yourself Safe on the Internet

Vegan Dinners

A Tapas Style Brunch

Money Talks: Voice-Overs

Spanish for Travelers

Botanical Illustration with Graphite

The Novel: From Second Draft to Publication

Opera for Beginners

For more information on our Early Bird sale, click here. Browse the full January/February catalog here.

The BCAE Has Your Back This Holiday Season

  
  
  

As fun as they can be, the holidays are jam packed with things to do, people to see...and the to-do list can get pretty long and overwhelming. Don't stress! We're here to help.

1. Gift cards!

We sell BCAE gift cards in any denomination, and for a limited time only, for every $50 you give in gift certificates, you get a $10 voucher to spend on classes for yourself! AND on Cyber Monday, December 1st, for one day only, we're doubling that so for every $50 you spend, you get $20 back for you! Get more information and purchase gift certificates here!

Holiday Gift Certificates

2. Create your gifts DIY style in one of our classes!

Save some money and add that true homemade touch to your holiday gifts this year.

-Knit a Scarf

-Decoupage Frames for the Holidays

-Glass Blown Ornaments

-Decoupage Holiday Ornaments

glass christmas ornaments

3. Things to do!

Get in the holiday spirit and add something new to your holiday activity roster.

-Boston at Holiday Time: A Photo Excursion

-Behind the Music: Boston Baroque's Messiah

Boston Holiday activities

4. Cooking!

Whether you're hosting a holiday meal, attending a pot luck, or simply need to keep your guests fed and happy, we've got some classes to help you cook (or bake!) to impress.

-A Holiday Dinner

-Gluten-Free Holiday Treats

-Holiday Entertaining with Chef William Kovel from Catalyst

-Holiday Cupcakes

holiday cooking

5. Festive Drinks!

No holiday celebration is complete without something to wash down all of that food. Are you an aspiring mixologist, or do you just want some beer or wine for your table? Whatever the case, our talented wine and spirits instructors have the tips you need.

- Holiday Cocktails
- Holiday Brews

Holiday drinks

BROWSE ALL OF OUR CLASSES NOW!

5 Ways to Learn More About Wine By BCAE Sponsor 90+ Cellars

  
  
  

90 + Cellars

If you've taken a celebrity chef class with us recently, you probably have met the 90+ Cellars folks, and tasted their delicious wines. Well, we've invited them to share some more of their wine knowledge right here on the blog! Here it is folks...from the experts right to your glass:

5 Ways to Learn More About Wine

“Well, I know I like Malbec and Cabernet, but I’m no connoisseur.” This might be the most common response we hear when we ask people at a wine tasting what they normally like to drink. It’s a perfectly valid answer, but we think people oftentimes don’t give themselves enough credit. And it’s easy to see why: there are thousands of different brands, styles, and regions to choose from in the world of wine. With so much information out there, the average consumer is likely to feel like a novice at best.

Thankfully a little knowledge in the wine world can go a long way. So in the spirit of the BCAE motto “never stop learning”, we’re sharing five simple things you can do to learn more about wine (and no, there will not be a quiz at the end).  

1. Try everything: Yes, we’re serious about this one. In fact, it might be the best thing you can do to learn more about wine (hooray)! The key here is keeping an open mind – sweet wine might not be your thing, but that shouldn’t keep you from at least trying a German Riesling. Sample red wine, white wine, sweet wine, dry wine, rosé, bubbles, port, and everything else there is to offer. Go to tasting events or host them with your friends at home, and make a resolution to at least try everything (it’s ok to spit, too). Chances are you’ll walk away with a few new favorites and an overall better idea of the types of wine you like and dislike.
 
2. Taste with a purpose: When you do have a chance to taste a variety of different wines, don’t forget to think about what you’re drinking. Take note of the aroma, the color, and how it feels in your mouth. See if you can pick out different fruits or other familiar flavors.  Take notes - if you want. There are no right or wrong answers, but the simple act of being aware of each wine you taste will help you remember your preferences later on.

90+ Wine

3. Ask questions: Have you ever stood in the aisle of a wine shop for far too long debating which of the hundreds of $15 reds you should bring to that dinner party? Yeah, we’ve been there too. But store employees (and servers at restaurants) are there to help. Plus they know more about their wine selection than any customer ever could, so don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation. Let this person know your price range, a general style, or the type of occasion you’re shopping for and he or she will help point you in the right direction.

4. Take a class: If you’re looking for some more in-depth wine knowledge, an introductory class might be right for you. The BCAE offers a variety of classes ranging from the basics (like “Understanding Wine Labels”) to niche interests (like “California Dreaming: California Wines”) to seasonally appropriate (like “Pop, Clink, Fizz: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Tasting” What's a new year without some bubbly?). No matter what your level of knowledge or the type of class you decide to take, the act of sitting in a classroom and talking about wine will help you learn more.

5. Be confident: The fact of the matter is, a lot of people simply don’t know how much they already know about wine. The vast population of people who are “not a connoisseur” feel as though it’s easier to talk themselves down rather than speak up. It’s time to stop being afraid. Ask questions. Start conversations. Try crazy new wine. Don’t be afraid of looking or sounding stupid – remember, most of the wine drinkers of the world are in the same boat as you. Don’t get hung up on what you don’t know (or think you don’t know). After all, what’s the point of drinking wine if you’re not having fun?  

So drink on, fellow wine lovers. And if you have any questions feel free to reach out to us on our Twitter or Facebook pages for some down-to-earth, un-snobby advice. Class dismissed.

***********************************************************************

DON'T FORGET! Get 20% off 3 or more bottles of wine in the 90+ Cellars online store! Just enter BCAEWINE at checkout.* Click here to read more about our partnership with 90+ Cellars.


*Restrictions: Only valid for purchases within 90+ Cellars online store. Discount will be applied to product only. Tax and shipping is not discounted. Shipping is $9 flat rate, or free with purchase of 2 or more cases. Discount excludes Wine Club and special gift packs. Cannot be combined with case or Wine Club member discounts - this coupon overrides them. Other restrictions may apply.  Discount expires 9/2/15.

BCAE Field Trip to Provincetown

  
  
  

Cape Cod is THE place to go for Bostonians in the summer, but you may not think of going once the temps drop.

We recently took a fall field trip to visit our friends in Provincetown, and without the throngs of summer vacationers, there is plenty of space to explore it in all its glory. And Provincetown in the off-season is just as vibrant as ever.

Provincetown

For a performance-art-centric beach town, there should OF COURSE be a painted piano on the beach. Just sink your toes in the sand and listen to the music of the ocean (cheesy maybe, but it really just is that true).

Provincetown

The colorful buildings (and people), the artists (and their creative signage), really contribute to the artistic nature of the town as a whole. In the daylight, without the summer crowds, walk down Commercial St., and the little side streets, and really look. Maybe you're a fan of the flashier bars and shows, or maybe you have a favorite cottage with a view, but Provincetown has something for everyone to take in and enjoy...and you can't forget about the food...

Provincetown

Seafood is central to the livelihood and cuisine of Provincetown, and it continues well into the colder weather (even though you and I might not be frequenting the clam shacks as much in the Boston winter). The Lobster Pot is one of the oldest restaurants in P-town, and still very much a popular option.

Provincetown food

And the gourmet dining goes well beyond seafood...Big thank you to Chef Lucio Garnica of the Sage Inn for the incredible food, and to the rest of the Sage Inn team for being wonderful hosts.

We are working with our Provincetown friends on something exciting for spring...stay tuned for details on how we're bringing P-town to Boston here at the BCAE!

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

 

 

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