By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
If a regimented classroom isn't always to your taste in kitchen matters, go straight to the down-home source with To Grandmother's House We Go Cooking Tours(www.GranCooksTours.com; 212-229-7756 or 718-768-6197). The name says it all: The amiable and culinarily reputable Susan Baldassano will usher you into the NYC-area homes of, yes, real grandmothers who'll demonstrate tried-and-true recipes as only Mom's (or Dad's) mom, the real master chef, can. The April 28 tour, a four-hour, $60 session for six people in Park Slope, features Italian cooking with Nettie Di Cupillo ("stuffed squid, red sauce and some 'nice' broccoli rabe").
At the other end of the spectrum, The French Culinary Institute in Soho (www.frenchculinary.com) provides professional training in haute cuisine. Their ultrarigorous, six-to-nine-month (day or evening), $24,750-$25,500 "Classic Culinary Arts" program instructs its charges in "the 250 competencies which make up the backbone of French technique" (just cookingpetite minxcan't I take you anywhere?). For the rest of us, a 22-Saturday, $4600 overview of classical French cooking, one of several shorter courses held regularly, begins May 19.
Since 1977, the true dawning of the Soy Era in bicoastal America, the Natural Gourmet Cookery School (www.naturalgourmetschool.com) has been a resource for public classes in vegetarian food. This spring's offerings are comprehensive indeed, from the introductory "Basics I: How to Begin" to "Summer Sizzle: Good Grilling" to "Vegan Cake Baking" to "Homeopathic Medicine Chest," among many other lectures, workshops, and courses available; most are one-day or evening and in the $75-$100 range. Topicality Dept.: Train one eye on their class schedule and the other on mad cow disease's trajectory toward our fair shores. E. McMurtrie
Experience the passion and power of flamenco dance, accompanied by live guitarists, at Ballet Hispanico School of Dance, (212-362-6710; firstname.lastname@example.org). To complement your flamenco, take beginner's ballet or salsa/mambo. Classes for adults run throughout the year, Monday through Saturday, at different levels. Fees: $12 for a single class or $55 for a five-class card. Josephine Leask
Your runway and photo-shoot gigs can't last forever, plus there're occupational hazards (blaring house music, unscrupulous playboys, cramped dorms). So leverage yourself into a stable, sane acting career with the School for Film and Television (filmandtelevision.com; 212/888-645-0300). Their "Acting for Models" class provides "emergency" training that's "useful to these specialized students"; a two-year full-time program and part-time certificate programs can get you some on-camera chops and also inform you about the business side of the big and little screensauditions, agents, acting for commercials, and other essentials.
Any actor can inadvertently get addicted to "day" jobsthey enable other addictions, like food and shelter. For those who can't commit to a fixed-schedule, full-time acting program, T. Schreiber Studios(t-s-s.org; 212-741-0209) offers some "on-going" classes that can be enrolled in any time of year, $180-220 per month (four classes). "On-Going Scene Study/Exercise" and "Playwriting" are just some of the flex-time offerings. TSS is endorsed by the mayor's office, true, but also by genuine struggling actorsso it's OK to mention it in this space. E. McMurtrie
A fashion student at FIT, speaking on condition of anonymity, tells me the school adequately teaches its students how the biz should work, though the industry itself is composed of people best described as "fakeass." We knew that, though, didn't we? Call 212-217-7991, e-mail FITinfo@fitnyc.suny.edu, or consult www.FITnyc.suny.edu to begin your odyssey.
But enough politics. Can we please just study some fashion? Fear not: Istituto Marangoni, a prestigious, 60-year-old school in Milan, wants to teach its students that "fashion is not invented but created." The Istituto offers three- and four-year "basic" degrees, a year-long program for international students, master's degrees, and ample networking opportunities. For more info, contact the Marangoni Information Center, 27 Union Square West, Suite 302, 212-675-5599, www.istitutomarangoni.com. Pablo Morales
The summer adult workshops at the New York Film Academy (www.nyfa.com) offer a good introduction to the rudiments of film production. They take you behind the scenes of moviemaking, highlighting the techniques and technologies needed for the creation and production of movies, and grant you complete creative control. All students, unleashed on New York streets, begin making their own films in the first week of all workshops.
The Cyber Film School (www.cyberfilmschool.com) brings to your doorstep your very own movie school, open 24 hours a day. Through video interviews, demonstrations, images, tests, and assignments the school guides novices and professionals alike into the world of 21st-century motion picture production. It also features video demonstrations and great tips from the likes of Pulp Fiction producer Lawrence Bender.
Writingclasses.com (www.writingclasses.com), the online version of the Gotham Writers' Workshop, reduces the complicated world of screenwriting into a fun-to-follow, easy-to-understand format. Basic and advanced classes present all the fundamental concepts of the craft of screenwriting, while master classes focus primarily on the presentation and critique of writers' work. And if you take any 10-week screenwriting class and "Film Analysis from the Screenwriter's Point of View" in the same term, you'll receive $200 off the full tuition rate. Ioana Veleanu