BCAE Blog

BCAE Instructor Spotlight: Marianne Staniunas

Posted by Marie Scarfo on Mon, Mar 20, 2017

 InstructorSpotlight_MarianneStaniunas.jpg

Our Instructor Spotlight Series continues! The latest instructor, featured in our May/June catalog, is Marianne Staniunas, BCAE Tasting instructor and expert on all things cheese, wine, and honey! Catch the full interview right here, and stay tuned for more awesome details about our even more awesome instructors.

BCAE: First off, welcome to the BCAE! Tell us a little about yourself.
MARIANNE: I am an attorney who decided to seek out a different quality of life, almost four years ago, when I left private practice for the cheese and wine world - which had always fascinated me - beginning work with Formaggio Kitchen South End.  I still use my legal training to do pro bono legal work and volunteer work on the side and feel that I have achieved more of the balance in life I was looking for.

BCAE: What do you love most about teaching?
MARIANNE: My favorite thing about teaching, is being able to share information, flavors, experiences about and with things that I love with others.

InstructorSpotlight_MarianneStaniunas-1.jpgBCAE: So, you’re a cheesemonger, wine buyer, honey expert & beekeeper. How did you get into these trades?
MARIANNE: As I mentioned, I started out as an attorney with an interest in wine and cheese and food generally.  I had become an attorney because I wanted to help people, but after working in several different roles over more than eight years, I realized that I wasn't using my degree to help people in the ways that I had hoped.  I became disillusioned with the whole attorney life and lifestyle, and decided to make an abrupt shift on my career path. 

Working at Formaggio opened up so many opportunities for me to learn about all kinds of artisanal foods - from wine, to cheese, to honey - and for me to become more knowledgable in all of these areas.  I am the Honey Buyer for the South End Shop (as well as a buyer of several other products), a cheesemonger, and assistant to the Wine Buyer.  Working at Formaggio also has allowed me to pursue other interests, from using my legal degree to do the kind of pro bono legal work that is meaningful to me, to do additional volunteer work, and to pick up some other hobbies. 

I got into beekeeping as a result of my endeavors to learn more about the production side of honey - both in my role as Honey Buyer, and as part of some of the volunteer work I do for a non-profit in Uganda that was starting an apiary.  I was fortunate to get connected with The Best Bees Company here in the South End; I had a beehive last season, and the folks at Best Bees manage several additional hives for both the South End and Cambridge Formaggio shops.  My bees did not make it through the winter, but I am excited to try again this season.

BCAE: What’s your favorite thing about beekeeping? What do you find to be the most challenging?
MARIANNE: I still consider myself a novice beekeeper - I think it takes years and years of practice to move on from that status! - but my favorite thing about beekeeping is the bees.  Bees are incredible and the functioning of the beehive as a super-organism still boggles my mind.  There is so much to learn about how bees work, the challenges they face, and there are so many difficult decisions to make as a beekeeper, regarding when and how to intervene, and when to just observe.  The biggest challenge for me, is trying to figure out that intervention piece.

BCAE: Unfair question, but we have to know: what’s your favorite cheese?
MARIANNE: My favorite cheese??  Cheese is made by living organisms, and so every wheel is a little different - even when you use the exact same recipe, and provide the same aging conditions.  For me, that means that various cheeses move in and out of my "top five," depending on the flavors, textures, etc. of a given wheel.  That being said, one cheese that I always come back to as a standby is Colston-Bassett Stilton - a rich, earthy, musty, mouth-wateringly delicious cow's milk blue from Nottingham in England.  

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Take a class with Marianne!

Inside Honey: The Bee's Cheese

Spring Cheese & Wine

Spanish Cheeses & Sherry

Honey Tasting & The Basics of Beekeeping

Artisan Olive Oil & Vinegars: A Tasting Tour

BROWSE ALL OF OUR TASTING CLASSES HERE!

 

Topics: BCAE classes, wine, spring, things to do in Boston, wine education, Wine classes Boston, Spring activities in Boston, boston things to do, wine class Boston, wine tasting, Boston classes, beekeeping, urban beekeeping, Spring Classes at the BCAE, Wine & Spirits, BCAE Tasting classes, Boston Tastings, Boston Tasting classes, cheese, honey, BCAE Tastings, things to do in Spring in Boston

5 Dining Experiences Worth Escaping the City For…

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

We like to think that here at the BCAE we know a thing or two about food...and that knowledge goes beyond our classes. We asked our resident food expert, Food & Wine Program Coordinator Brooke Barsanti, to share some of her out-of-the-class expertise. So here's a little something to keep you going in between BCAE classes...

5 Dining Experiences Worth Escaping the City For
By Brooke Barsanti

In the summer Boston blooms with roof decks, patios, waterfront views and picnics at the park! Don’t even get me started on the abundance of fresh seafood! While summer in the city is a BLAST for Bostonian food lovers, expand your horizons and explore outside city limits. For your reference (and pleasure), I have highlighted five travel-worthy restaurant experiences:

  1. Lobster Lunch and BYOB at Roy Moore Lobster Company
    39 Bearskin Neck, Rockport, MA 01966
    (978) 546-6696

    Take the Newburyport/Rockport line from North Station to Rockport. A quick walk down Bearskin Neck will lead you to a TRUE hidden gem; inexpensive seafood directly from the source – and BYOB to top it off! Don’t worry if there isn’t room on the picnic tables, walk further back and create your own table and chairs with lobster traps! How New England of you…

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  1. Drinks on the beach at The Galley
    54 Jefferson Ave, Nantucket, MA 02554
    (508) 228-9641
    Take the Plymouth/Brockton Bus from South Station to Hyannis. Hyannis is home to the Steamship Authority and Highline Cruises - both charters bring you to the little Island of Nantucket! Just outside town resting on a beautiful beach is The Galley. Relax on lounge chairs in the sand while being served upscale cocktails and watching the sun set. Once the sun hides behind the water the entire restaurant claps!
  1. Dinner on the docks at Vic’s Boat House
    86 Wharf St, Salem, MA 01970
    (978) 745-3400

    From Boston’s Long Warf take the Salem Fast Ferry to Blaney St. Pier. Sitting on the docks, hidden among the boats is a Salem staple. Boasting seafood, steaks, bar food, and live entertainment, Vic’s Boat House is known for the best waterfront dining on the North Shore! Lobster quesadilla + a mudslide = a dreamy summer night!

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  1. Raw Bar at Victor’s
    175 Bradford Street Ext, Provincetown, MA 02657
    (508) 487-1777

    Skip the traffic and take the Provincetown Ferry from Boston’s Long Warf. Just outside town away from the commotion of Commercial Street you’ll find a quaint yet lively restaurant called Victor’s. The raw bar is fresh and delicious, the craft cocktails range from spicy to sweet, and the ‘sunset special’ from 5:00pm – 6:00pm is 20% off the entire dinner menu!

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  1. Dinner at The Matunuck Oyster Bar
    629 Succotash Rd, South Kingstown, RI 02879
    (401) 783-4202

    Locally grown vegetables, locally caught fish, and locally harvested oysters (most of it by the owner himself)! The mecca of seafood sustainability, with flavor and fun to boot! Waterfront views are as guaranteed as the one hour wait to be seated. If you leave without eating the bourbon oysters (pictured above) – you’ve made a massive mistake. There is no easy way to get to South Kingstown, Rhode Island – the Amtrak from South Station can get you as far as West Kingston, while the Providence/Stoughton line can bring you to Wickford Junction…but then you need a car (cabs aren’t easy to come by in these parts). Long story short, rent a car – it’s worth it!

Topics: things to do in Boston, Massachusetts dining, restaurant recommendations

Summer is all About the Single Sessions!

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Tue, Jun 03, 2014

Single Session graphic

As summertime fast approaches (I would say has arrived but remember when it was 40 degrees last week?!), we know your schedules get jam-packed 7 days a week. People to see, places to go, and lots and lots and things you've been waiting to do all year. We get it. We're all in the same boat, so when we scheduled classes for the summer, we kept that in mind. This summer is all about the single sessions!

Our cooking classes often fall into that category, but we have classes to fit your busy schedule in all of our categories! We've kept a number of previous favorites around, but we also have some new additions we think you'll be excited about. Here are some one-offs we think might be worth your (precious summer)time.

GET OUTSIDE!

It's FINALLY nice out! Don't just sit around doing your usual activities. Join us for an afternoon or evening to learn something new and enjoy the weather.

Piers Park sailing

Boston Sunset Kayak Tour -- July 18, 2014

An Introduction to Sailing -- July 26, 2014

Paddleboarding for Beginners -- July 26, 2014

Surfing for Beginners -- August 9, 2014

GET CREATIVE

Not the outdoorsy type? Learn some fun skills of a different kind.

Sewing class at the BCAE

Photo Credit: Amy Connolly of Creative Soul Spectrum

Enameling: Pendant Workshop -- July 16, 2014

Fusing & Slumping: Quick N Easy Fused Glass Clock -- July 20, 2014

Stained Glass: Make Your Own Suncatcher or Decorative Mirror -- August 9, 2014

Easy Alterations to Save You Money -- August 18, 2014

GET MOVING

Whether you're looking for something fun to help you stay active and in shape through beach season or just want to practice your dance moves to avoid embarrassment at all of those summer weddings, we've got the answer for you.

Tonight We Dance

Brazilian Forro for Couples -- July 16, 2014

Samba for Couples -- July 23, 2014

Basic Ballroom for Couples -- July 29, 2014

Waltz for Couples -- August 5, 2014

Foxtrot for Couples -- August 12, 2014

American-Style Tango for Couples -- August 19, 2014

Cardio Dance Party -- Choose from several dates from July 14 through August 18, 2014. Or sign up for the series!

Zumba Dance Fitness -- Choose from several dates from July 16 through August 20, 2014. Or sign up for the series!

GET COOKING (& eating & drinking)

Frozen Cocktails for Summer Nights -- July 18, 2014

From Boat to Boil with Captain Carli and Chef Nicola Hobson -- August 9, 2014

Don't Clam up: Easy Cooking with Clams -- August 11, 2014

Picnic Perfect: Learn to Make Fresh Bread -- August 12, 2014

BCAE July/August catalog
These are just a sample of all of the fun things we have going on this summer! Click here to browse our full July/August catalog online.

Topics: BCAE classes, Boston cooking classes, things to do in Boston, paddleboarding class Boston, sailing class Boston, Boston dance classes, Boston summer activities, Boston art classes, surfing class Boston

Spring is Here: Let's Get Walking

Posted by Kim Wieczner on Thu, May 08, 2014

Spring has finally arrived in Boston! And as Boston has been noted for being a wonderfully walkable city, we are pounding the pavement to explore some of our favorite Boston neighborhoods by foot!

 A Walking Tour of the South End - May 13, 2014

You may have been to the South End...for dinner? Maybe a night of theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts? But how much do you know about the neighborhood beyond that, about it's history? Did you know there is a burial ground from 1810? Dive into the South End you never realized existed with this tour on May 13th.

 South End Boston neighborhood

A Walking Tour of Beacon Hill: The North Slope - May 20, 2014

In addition to being home to some of our Boston-based politicians, Beacon Hill has a colorful cultural history, having been home to a wide variety of ethnic communities. Beacon Hill's North Slope is packed with sites to see, and this tour will go through the works, including an array of 19th century townhouses and a visit to the Boston Center for Jewish Heritage's historic Vilna Shul, Boston's oldest surviving immigrant-era synagogue.

Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston

A Walking Tour of Bay Village and the Theatre District - June 10, 2014

We here at the BCAE consider Bay Village home, but even we don't know all the fun facts about this fascinating neighborhood! This tour will give you the backstory to some of the most familiar (or so we thought!) landmarks, like the Castle, constructed in the 1890s, and the iconic Park Plaza Hotel. Go beyond Park Square to check out the "mini" red brick Beacon Hill row houses and former fire station of Bay Village before moving on to the Theatre District and its rich architectural history.

Theatre District Boston neighborhood

Bay Village Boston neighborhood

A Walking Tour of Fort Point Channel Neighborhood - June 17, 2014

Fort Point is quickly becoming a modern, trendy part of Boston, with newsworthy businesses and restaurants popping up so quickly, we can hardly keep track. Pastoral, a recent addition and favorite of pizza lovers, is no exception, giving Bostonians and tourists yet another reason to head across the channel. In this exciting summer walking tour, you will see past the shiny new exterior and get a glimpse into the history and the amazing transformation that has occurred. Did you know Fort Point was also the birthplace of the safety razor and Valentine's Day candy hearts?! 

Fort Point neighborhood of Boston

For more details on all of these walking tours and to sign up, head to our website.

Topics: BCAE, things to do in Boston, Boston walking tours, Boston neighborhoods, Spring activities in Boston, Boston Center for Adult Education

BCAE 2012 Fall Bucket List

Posted by Becky Brackett on Thu, Sep 06, 2012

Fall Bucket List





 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






20 must-do adventures, experiences & projects for the fall of 2012

My favorite season is quickly approaching and this year I’m making sure to be well prepared. As we approach the end of August it’s nice to daydream and plan ahead for chillier days ahead. Fall always seem to come and go in a flash and 2012 is the time to make the most of it. I encourage you to explore, soak up the city and enjoy the season!

Here are the 25 things to do that top my list.

apple picking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





1. Go apple picking
A fall tradition! Last year I went picking at Cardigan Mountain Orchard in Alexandria, NH. The trip made for a scenic drive and the farm is beautiful. They offer pick your own McIntosh, Cortland and Macoun apples along with fresh cider, jams and homemade apple pie. Nashoba Valley is another fantastic option. In addition to having an orchard they have a vineyard so you can add a wine tasting to your apple picking excursion.

2. Make a recipe with your fresh apples
Hand-picking is half the fun but tasting and baking the apples is just as wonderful. While it’s nice to make classics like apple pie it’s also fun to experiment. If you’re not sure where to begin, Instructor Dustin Rennells has a recipe for Caramel Apple Cupcakes to get you started.

3. Visit the Tent during Boston Fashion Week
BFW grows more robust every year. This upcoming Boston Fashion Week runs Thursday, September 27 - Saturday, October 6 and has been upgraded from 7 days to 10. Check out the great line up of shows and purchase tickets here. If you can't make it to the Tent there are lots of other great events taking place around the city, starting with Fashion Night Out this Thursday, September 6.

White Mountains

















4. Take a hike in the White Mountains
It can be so refreshing to escape the city - and a trip to New Hampshire is just what the doctor ordered. The White Mountains are especially stunning in the fall as the leaves start to change. The Falling Waters trail which takes you up Little Haystack Mountain, along Franconia Ridge and down Mount Lafayette. includes picturesque waterfalls is a Brackett Family favorite. If the White Mountains are a little too extreme for your taste Blue Hills is a great option closer to home. 

5. Attend a Gallery Opening
From Newbury Street to the South End Boston has lots of great galleries. Free First Friday Open Studios in the South End are a nice way to kick off the weekend. The Gallery at the BCAE is also free and open to the public. We'll be hosting two receptions this fall - "UPscale: Boston Goes Big" with photographer Chris Padgett on Friday, September 14th and "Dreaming in Color" with painter and photographer Patrick Maloney on Friday, November 16. To join us RSVP by email to marketing@bcae.org.

6. Mix a pitcher of autumn sangria
Sangria, typically a summer staple, is just as good in the fall. It's easy to mix a large batch and serve to friends and family. This recipe calls for oranges, apples, lemon, triple sec and bourbon. Cheers!  

Brimfield Antique Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




7. Brimfield Antique Show (THIS WEEK!)
Brimfield, the largest antique show in the country happens just three times a year and is a short drive from Boston. For a week, the small town of Brimfield, MA is infiltrated with thousands of dealers and shoppers. Vendors fill the fields along a half mile stretch through the center of town. The show runs through this Saturday, September 9. I reccommend you go prepared with a list of what you're looking for and comfortable walking shoes. Happy Hunting!

8. Cook with a Celebrity Chef
You know and love them. Why not take the opportunity join them in the kitchen? In September & October we're excited to welcome Michael Scelfo of Russell House Tavern, Andy Husbands (to school you on Barbeque), and many more. Here's the full Celebrity Chef line-up.

9. Knit a scarf
Even the most basic knitting projects can be intimidating, but it's such a hand skill to have. I’ve knit a scarf before but am in dire need of a refresher. Here at the BCAE we’ve got a great course called "Learn to Knit" to teach you the basics. I’d love to graduate to giant knitting needles so someday.

Pumpkin Picking


















10. PYO {pick your own} pumpkin
Pick your own and then carve your own! As always I'm turning to Martha - the queen of Halloween - for inspiration on carving. She's got great ideas on how to transform your gourd in her Pumpkin Carving and Decorating Guide. If you're looking for a more functional use for your pumpkin you can hollow it out to use it as a vase or bowl for serving soup.

11. Shop at SoWa Open Market
Spend a Saturday or Sunday in the South End shopping at SoWa - "Boston's Original Art and Indie Design Market." Support local artisans and discover unique handmade pieces. Be sure to say hi to Emily of The Fashion Truck and grab a gourmet grilled cheese from the guys at Roxy's. You won't be disappointed.

12. Make Your Own Pasta
Think of the serious bragging rights you'll earn! We'll get you started in "The Art of Pasta Making" on October 4th. You'll learn how to craft ravioli, gnocchi, and tagliatelle along with some simple sauces. Our Instructor Diane is a pro and you'll love being able to replicate what you learned in class at home.


bookstore
















13. Visit a local bookstore
Brattle Book Shop in Downtown Crossing is a great one to explore. They offer used books and their third floor is filled with rare and antiquarian books. Trident Booksellers on Newbury Street combines a bookstore and cafe and is the perfect escape from the fall cold. They have an incredible perpetual breakfast menu, fresh juices, and free WiFi. The Banana & Caramel Stuffed Pancakes are unbelievable. 

14. Create a Fall Playlist
Every season is better with a soundtrack...and for some reason the playlist for fall is always the easiest one to make. I do a new one every year (they're fun to go back and listen to) and this year my go to artists are:  Bon Iver, Ray Lamontagne, Mumford & Sons, David Gray and Ben Howard. Who's on your playlist?

15. Treasure Hunt at a Thrift Store
Update your wardrobe with some "new to you" pieces. Second hand stores like Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill and the Garment District are fun places to find one of a kind pieces and can help you re-invent your wardrobe. Second Time Around (in Beacon Hill and on Newbury Street) is a staff favorite.

coffeeshop
















16. Spend quality time at a local cafe
Bring a good book or your laptop, get a hot beverage and settle in your own corner. My top reccommendation is L'Aroma at 85 Newbury Street. Boston Common Coffee is another nice coffeehouse and has several locations around the city.

17. Create your own Thanksgiving Centerpiece
With just a few materials you can create a stunning centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner table. You can get crafty in our "Make It & Take It: Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece" class in November. Laurie Marino will teach you the tricks of professioal floral designers and you'll leave wiht your own long-lasting table decoration. **Registration for this class opens on Monday, September 24.

18. Take a Brewery Tour
A great and inexpensive weekend activity, make a stop at Sam Adams in Jamaica Plain or Harpoon Brewery in Seaport for a tour and a tasting. If you're interested in something a little more personal we have a great series here called Brew & Chew. Our next class is "Brew and Chew with Brooklyn Brewery & Harvest."

rustic table

















19. Set a rustic table
If you're having a fall dinner party there's nothing more fun than moving the indoor furniture outside. Use inexpensive materials like burlap or butcher paper for a tablecloth or runner and mix and match your plates and silverware. If it's cold put a wool blanket on each chair so guests can stay warm. {images via Pinterest // photo 1 // photo 2

20. Go for one last stroll on the beach
Pick a warm fall day and take the opporunity to put your toes in the sand one more time. Reflect on your summer and think about all the great things you have already on the calendar for fall!

What are your favorite fall activities? Are there any upcoming events in the city that we should know about? We'd love to hear what's on your list.

Topics: BCAE bucket list, things to do in Boston, fall activities

BCAE's List: Top 5 Things To Do in Boston this Fall!

Posted by Jamie Christo on Fri, Aug 17, 2012

As the air starts to chill during these late August evenings and you realize summer is slipping away, don’t panic if you haven’t thought about what to do this autumn.   If you are looking for fun things to do in Boston, look no further.  The BCAE is brimming with sensational classes this fall.  Check out our top five:

1.  Skip the bar, and become the bartender!     

Feeling tired with the same old bar scene in Boston?  Learn to mix your own libations at a BCAE cocktail class.  On September 17th, join us for The Arrrrrrrt of the Cocktail: Fun with Rum.  Mixologist Domingo Martin Barres embraces his love of rum and International Talk Like a Pirate Day as he creates seaworthy cocktails like “Captain Jack,” “Walk the Plank,” and “Barbery Coast.” 

2.  Find a new place to eat.

Dying to try that hot chef’s new restaurant?  Taste the food and meet the chef with the BCAE’s Celebrity Chef series.  Each term, find 6 of Boston’s hottest chefs cooking at the BCAE kitchens. 

Great things to do in Boston at the BCAE!

3.  Try something new.

Take for $10 is back for the third year running.  If you haven’t already registered, you better move fast.  These classes offer you a preview of an instructor or sampling of a longer class for just $10.  So if you’ve been dying to learn the piano or test your hand a watercolor, check it off your list this September with Take for $10.

4.  Mix and mingle.

Boston can be a tough city to mingle in.  Get out of your comfort zone and meet some new people at a wine & cheese reception for new art gallery exhibition “Upscale: Boston Goes Big.”  Photographer (and BCAE instructor) Chris Padgett displays a new view of the city in these large scale photographs.  RSVP required!

5.  Ditch the gym!

And get outside.  Enjoy the last few weeks of evening sunlight, crisp fall air, and gorgeous crimson leaves while out on a run.  Never been running before?  We have you covered with Running for Beginners on September 12th

No matter what is on your fall “to-do list,” the BCAE can help get you started, check it off, or give you something new to add.  Browse all of our classes to see what else is in store!

Topics: BCAE classes, things to do in Boston, Cocktail Classes, Celebrity Chefs, Take for $10