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An Evening of Food, Wine and Learning with Connect2Classes and Eat Seattle

Celebrity Blogger Dawn Smith of Revel and Glitter Attended a Pike Place Market Tour and Cooking Class Meal Experience

This is a sponsored post; payment, trade and/or products have been received in exchange for promotion for Connect2Classes and Eat Seattle and as always, all opinions are my own. — Dawn Smith, Revel and Glitter

One of my favorite things about living in the Seattle/Pacific Northwest area, besides the amazing scenery and outdoor activities, is the food! We are moving up the list as the “it” food and wine city, thanks to the abundance of wineries in Eastern Washington.

Combine that with my love of learning, the answer was a resounding yes when the founder of Eat Seattle Classes and Tours, Chef Liz McCune, and Connect2Classes invited me to attend one of her cooking classes. Cooking and drinking wine? That is my type of evening.

We all met at the the beautiful Atrium Kitchen in the Pike Place Market. Which I didn’t even know existed, in a building I’ve never been in. And I’ve lived and been coming to the market for over 13 years. The learning has already begun. Eat Seattle’s cooking classes consists of a tour through the market where Chef Liz and Chef Jay Midwood explained the local and seasonal produce they selected as the ingredients for our menu.

Again, an urban garden in the middle of the market that I had no idea about. It helps to supplement fresh produce already provided at the Food Bank and Senior Center and offers the market senior residents the opportunity to garden and socialize with each other. The public can walk through; there are beautiful views of the Puget Sound. But it is definately the first rule of the secret urban garden…nobody talks about the secret urban garden.

We head down to the bustling market to pick up a few items for our meal, visiting some of the chefs’ favorite vendors. The third thing I learned, truly ripe nectarines taste like ripe peaches. I like peaches…I don’t like nectarines. Apparently why, because I’ve been eating them all wrong.

We headed back to the kitchen, where we wash up and prepare for the festivities, including nibbling on Beecher’s cheese and crackers with a lovely glass of wine. I mention Beecher’s because a. they are local and b. I LOVE THEIR CHEESE!

The format is a combination of hands-on and demonstration to ensure that everyone gets the most of the teachings and those that would like to participate can do so. Which means you can jump in and help…or sit back and enjoy your wine. We all did both.

Yes, this is me gutting what must be the world’s largest heirloom tomatoes. They come in later for our meal starter…

Meanwhile, Chef Jay is giving us fabulous tips and instructions on the preparation of the menu; he was so informative providing tips on cooking techniques, info about the meal and and random Seattle history.

I learned so much information! For example, I have never heard of the tonka bean, that helped make our dessert. Apparently it is super-hot in the cosmetics world and can be purchased much cheaper through those avenues than through the culinary side. Much like nutmeg, it is toxic in high doses. And very expensive in small doses.

But what you really want to hear about is our gourmet dishes. All the ingredients used were sourced in the Northwest and 100% organic, and our meal designed to maximize those seasonal flavors. This is our starter, the before mentioned heirloom tomato, stuffed with a salmon rillettes with a truffle oil vinaigrette and edible flower petals.

Our main course, seared ling cod with potato, fennel, orange and mint salad.

We ended with the tonka bean sponge with strawberries, blueberries topped with whipped chantilly. That’s just a fancy way of saying when whipping the cream, you stop when there are soft peaks so it is still a little runny.

I had an amazing evening and although I was a third wheel, everyone there was a couple or came with a friend, the atmosphere was so inviting, I didn’t feel alone or awkward. There was so much to see and be engaged with. I am so bringing my husband for another class.

Be sure and follow Chef Liz on Instagram @Eat_Seattle on her food adventures through our beautiful Seattle!

Need more wine inspiration? Check out my latest post for Washington Wine Month

Do you already take cooking classes or are you inspired to take one now? Tell us all about it!

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!

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Go Back to School and Build Your Career

Everyone Can Benefit From Being Current and Savvy About New Technologies, Business Practices, and Other Learning Trends

Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment. –Andrew Palmer, The Economist

As technology advances, it’s no longer enough to rely solely on formal education and college degrees when seeking employment. We need to be learning all the time as we adapt to changing conditions in our jobs, careers, and business markets.

The Economist recently published an article on the importance of lifelong learning in the modern age. The industrial revolution has been replaced by the information revolution and the knowledge economy, and jobs are changing: the jobs of the future will be less repetitive, more centered around technological innovation, more creative, more challenging — and more rewarding.

So how can we prepare for these changes in how we work? The answer is lifelong learning, which continues over the course of a person’s entire career.

“A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening,” says The Economist. “Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades.”

Understanding the importance of continuous learning is essential to success. And the younger you are, the more obvious it is. Those who rely heavily on the Internet are learning all the time — they’ve developed the key skill of learning to learn. Even in the age of Internet, though, there’s still a place for classes, workshops and bootcamps that boost learning to new heights. Companies now spend less money on training and professional development, so it’s important for employees to have their own continuous learning strategies.

“According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%,” The Economist tells us. “Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training.”

Connect2Classes wants you to find success in learning and in your career. We offer thousands of classes to help you boost your skills, keep your knowledge up-to-date and stay afloat in a competitive workforce. Regardless of your field, skills like software knowledge, social media know-how and graphic design are incredibly useful. And life skills like project management, team leadership and conflict resolution are critical to any successful career.

It’s time to get ready for the future with Connect2Classes and our wide array of online and in-person classes in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area. Start your lifelong learning now, and invest in your career.

About Connect2Classes — We are a marketplace for professional and life enriching classes, workshops, and learning immersives — connecting voracious learners with the best local expertise. In Seattle, Online, and soon in San Francisco!

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Design a custom learning experience with Connect2Classes’ Class Concierge

Connect2Classes provides the personal touch with their new Class Concierge service

Connect2Classes has launched a new service that connects learners with local experts offering custom classes and training. The Class Concierge service is now available to help you plan a group learning experience that is entirely unique and tailored to your interests and location.

What can Class Concierge do for you? Just as a hotel concierge recommends the best restaurants, tours and spas in the area, Class Concierge will recommend the most highly rated experts in Seattle that are best suited to what you want to learn.

Are you a business looking for a unique day of team building and professional development? Class Concierge will help you create a customized, outside the box experience. Replace a dull day of corporate training with artisanal soap-making in the morning before diving deep into an afternoon technology class taught by a local expert. Searching for a fun activity for a birthday or a bachelorette party? Want date night to be extra special this month? From cooking to photography to couples massage classes, Class Concierge will craft the perfect experience for you.

With so many truly stellar teachers and master craftspeople working in the Seattle area, there is an amazing pool of expertise to draw from. Class Concierge has access to hundreds of trusted experts who have worked with Connect2Classes before. Their recommendations are based on testimonials and positive feedback from past students, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible experience. Many of these experts also have custom built studios and facilities that you can access through the Class Concierge service, from glass blowing studios to metalworking shops.

No need to spend hours planning, either. Connect with Class Concierge and let them know what your learning and bonding objectives are, how big your group is, what passions or interests your group would love to explore, and where you’d like the event to be located – then leave the rest to Class Concierge! They’ll do all the planning and organizing for you. All you have to do is show up, learn and have fun.

Visit Connect2Classes to connect with Class Concierge today!

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Amp Up Your Group Grilling Game with Seattle’s BBQ and Grilling School

BBQ and Grilling Classes

Connect2Classes offers group BBQ classes for team and client appreciation events

Looking for a unique alternative to your usual work party barbeque? With Connect2Classes, you can set up a group BBQ class for your team to eat, bond, and learn some grilling skills. Seattle’s summertime experts are on hand to guide students from the basics to the master-level skills of BBQ and grilling.

Local grill master Stu McMullen, of Seattle’s BBQ and Grilling School, has travelled to BBQ and grilling contests across the country, in cities like St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. He’s also taken classes at the Western Culinary Institute and travelled widely in Asia. He currently works with local BBQ and grilling chefs, including Eric “the Sauce King” Viken, Tom “Make It Happen” Von Glahn and Ken “Barbecue Extraordinaire” Dahlstrom.

Stu’s skillset now covers the best practices of many classic BBQ and grilling traditions, and he’s sharing his knowledge with students through all kinds of events. These aren’t limited to team appreciation events, either. Sharon, a local real estate entrepreneur, commented on her recent experience designing a private event with the BBQ and Grilling School.

“It was four hours of fun followed by an hour of eating!” Sharon says. “I followed the lead of some of my friends and sponsored a cooking class for some of my real estate clients.”

Sharon’s event was a huge hit. “Not only did I generate some new leads for some real estate sales, but the group had a great time,” she says. “I plan to repeat this experience every 6 months with my new clients. Not only is it a great way to show my appreciation to my clients but it is a great way to generate new leads. I will recoup my costs many times over while having a great time learning new cooking skills.”

If you have an upcoming team event, need to plan a work party, or want to show your clients some appreciation, consider a cooking class with the Seattle BBQ and Grilling School or another local Cooking School. Connect2Classes can arrange an event for you, your colleagues, new leads, family or friends.

Visit Connect2Classes to view upcoming classes from the Seattle BBQ and Grilling School:

www.connect2classes.com/seattle/classes/cooking/4-hour-steak-class-for-2

Or request a private class: https://www.connect2classes.com/request-private-group-class/

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Seattle Businesses Are Reinventing Team Training and Building

Seattle Businesses Are Reinventing Team Training and Building

In a thriving economy like Seattle, businesses know they need cultivate strong teams in order to maintain their competitive edge. As baseball player Babe Ruth famously said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

In an age when standard professional development options can seem a bit too cookie-cutter and focused on individual learning, businesses now have the option of working with local educational providers to design the perfect learning and bonding experience. Connect2Classes is leading the way with a flexible approach to group professional development and amazing team building activities.

Connect2Classes CEO Dallas Jasper commented on why building custom class offerings has become one of their most requested services: “At Connect2Classes we’ve been champions of experiential earning for a long time. We have literally hundreds of world-class instructors available to us on any topic you can imagine. Does staff require technical or marketing training or other professional skills development? Or are they committed to regular team building events or fostering creativity? Any business can request a tailor-made learning experience that is relevant to their specific industry and needs.”

One local real estate company contacted Connect2Classes to organize an onsite software training for their employees that would be relevant to their industry. A local school organized a Moms and Sons chocolate making event and picnic dinner for Mother’s Day. Another company decided to encourage team bonding over soap making. Yet another local business hired a chef instructor to run team-building culinary games during a very special cocktail party.

The Washington Department of Labor and Industry also took advantage of custom training for their staff. Crystal Hensen, Services Development Core Team Manager, says “We were in need of some Java training and found Connect2Classes offered a class in Seattle for a decent price. It became evident quickly that the number of staff we needed to take this training was increasing, so I called Connect2Classes who helped us get the training we needed delivered locally instead! We were provided with different instructor options to choose from that allowed us to select the best instructor for what we needed, and all of the instructors met the qualifications we needed, and they also offered different scheduling options for meeting our needs.”

Do you have a team that could learn to gel better? Professional level courses in communication, people skills, conflict navigation, and other essential practices help everyone develop their team-working savvy. If developing creativity and innovation thinking are your goals, Connect2Classes also works with instructors from the creative industries who are expert at guiding teams through the creative process.

Team building and morale events also get a boost from this creative approach. Groups can request cooking classes such as sushi making, cupcakes, French cuisine, and chocolate creations. Outdoor activities like paddle boarding, hiking, and perfecting your batting average. Also on offer are over-21 events like wine tasting, mixing cocktails, brewing, and adult beverages plus art or photography. Creative businesses can opt for glass blowing, metal working, or woodworking.

What do your teams need to learn and love to do? Just let Connect2Classes know and they can suggest the perfect training or event, onsite or off.

Use this link to request a private class:

https://www.connect2classes.com/request-private-group-class/

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Design the Perfect Group Class for the Ultimate Bonding Experience

Private Class with moms and sons from The Bear Creek School

Connect2Classes creates custom experiences for shared learning

In our fast-paced world, we’re always looking for new ways to connect with loved ones. The key is finding activities that everyone can enjoy together.

At Connect2Classes, our focus is on both individual and group learning experiences. CEO Dallas Jasper says, “We love it when our students reach out to us for help envisioning the ultimate bonding experience! We get calls and emails from parents, co-workers, and groups of family and friends who want to do something unique and transformational together.”

With so many truly stellar teachers and master craftspeople operating in the Seattle area, there is an amazing pool of expertise to draw from. Cooking, arts, and technology classes are especially popular in group learning. Team building and morale events are attractive to local businesses and organizations.

“We are happy to work with any group to design a shared learning experience that caters to everyone’s interests and passions,” Dallas says.

Kristine Shields, a Grade 7 Parent Representative at The Bear Creek School, wanted to organize a unique event for moms and their pre-teen sons to come together and celebrate Mother’s Day.
“I wanted to try a group class for a special event and keep the cost reasonable,” Kristine says. “I had not seen on the list of classes one that fit. When I reached out to Connect2Classes, they had a wonderful suggestion and made the class logistics so easy.” The class was Moms and Sons Private Chocolate Cooking Class, a chocolate-making class followed by a picnic dinner for 18 mothers and sons at Dawn’s Candy & Cake in Lynnwood. “The young men had loads of fun and really engaged in the chocolate project,” Kristine states. “The moms had fun with each other and connecting with our boys. The location was so agreeable to me bringing a picnic dinner. Their flexibility and friendliness along with the skills they had to teach us made for a really fun night. ”The event proved to be very impressive for the other parents, including the school’s Early Middle School and Middle School Division Head Jenn McDonough, who is the parent of a seventh grade student herself. “All the parents sent thank you emails and said they would really want to do it again. I was a little nervous before the event, but I would totally do it again,” Kristine continues. “Everyone who signed up came and even my son said that it was more fun than he thought! Connecting with kids is deeper and so much more fun with a shared activity. It’s also great for community building within the school.”

Interested in designing your own perfect group class experience? Tell us who you want to bring together and we can help you create an event to remember.
Click to request a private class.

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Learn the Art of Telling Tales from Hollywood Experts Right in Seattle

Learn the art of storytelling

TheFilmSchool enlists Pixar, Disney and more to teach storytelling.

From brand stories to short films to social media, storytelling is the foundation for developing the most compelling content. Stories connect creators to their audiences by creating emotional resonance – this means that the content leaves an indelible impression.

TheFilmSchool is a non-profit school rooted in progressive, professional storytelling through film, radio, television and cutting-edge new media. The school provides its students with the foundational education and expertise to work in creative environments within business and the arts.

But their mission goes well beyond simply offering training for would-be filmmakers or visual producers. As Executive Director Diana Dotter states, “We also educate government and business leaders that Seattle has a thriving creative economy and that we need to support that growth.”

TheFilmSchool incubates new talent with instruction through the process from concept to production and provides summer camps for teens in script writing and directing.

Their community outreach programs encourage participation from a wide range of storytelling voices, and they provide significant scholarship assistance to students in need. “We embrace diversity and are very inclusive. We need to hear from all voices and help people from all walks of life tell their stories in the most compelling way possible,” says Diana.

TheFilmSchool’s instructors are professionals with active careers in creative industries like actor and director, Tom Skerrit, Friends’ star Lisa Kudrow and Emily Zulauf, script supervisor for Pixar’s Inside Out. They help develop students’ skills and provide hands-on training that opens more opportunities to work in creative roles in both the arts and business.

Starting on July 16, 2017, TheFilmSchool is offering a three-week, immersive program that meets students where they are in their process and takes them to the next level. Story and script consultants from Disney and Pixar help students develop their narrative and scripts. They help students understand the perspective of development executives who might be greenlighting their work.

Tom Skerrit will lead the directing portion of the program which helps students take their story ideas from script to screen. Other elements of the program include character development, production, storyboarding, shot list composition, and production design.

Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or a digital content producer, TheFilmSchool’s industry-level programs will prepare you with a deep knowledge of what drives creative efforts forward.

Click here to register for the summer screenwriting program.

Click here to register for the teen summer camp.

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Fountain of youth? It lives within your community.

Fountain of Youth lives within your community

Edmonds Community College and Edmonds Arts Festival partnership creates opportunities for students

We’d like to feel younger, right? If you’ve been following the hot new Younger Next Year movement, you know that one of the six ways to stop much of the decay of aging is to get out into your community and join the activity. Studies have shown that people who are engaged in their communities live years (sometimes many years) longer than those who stay isolated at home.

As one Community Education program discovered, that principle is true at the institutional level as well. “We applied the Younger Next Year concept to our entire program,” says Marianne Legg, Program Coordinator for the Community Education classes at Edmonds Community College.

“We used to have our community education offices in the center of Edmonds and were a part of many community events. Eighteen months ago, our building was sold and we moved away from downtown. We felt so isolated,” states Marianne. “We began looking for ways to put the community back into our community education program.”

As the program discovered, seeking relationships in the community rejuvenated their class offerings and they were able to give their students some unique opportunities. And students, who might not have known about the school before, discovered it through a community partner.

As bonus, the community as a whole has benefited from partnerships with the school. Take this spring’s Creating Public Art class, for example, which partners the college’s community education program with the Edmonds Arts Festival to make 4-by-8-foot banners to hang at the festival this summer.

“We were blown away that the Edmonds Arts Festival wanted to work with us,” Marianne enthuses. Every June, this world-class Festival draws around 50,000 visitors to buy art and enjoy free entertainment and great food. “Hanging your banner at this festival is major exposure for anyone interested in a career in the visual arts,” she says.

Students will be able to create their own designs under the tutelage of a nationally-recognized illustrator. They’ll produce six banners which the festival can use for years to come; so, the Festival benefits as well.

“Yes, win-win-win is our goal with these partnerships,” Marianne says. “We feel everyone comes out ahead when we all work together on mutual goals. And our students get opportunities they wouldn’t have without taking advantage of the partnership.”

The Certificate in Event Planning is being offered in conjunction with the Edmonds Arts Festival which offers on-the-job training in organizing a major community event. “This is a fun way to learn the intricate details of community event planning from people with thousands of hours of events experience,” says Marianne.

The planning that goes into putting on an event like this festival includes marketing, artist booths, volunteer management, scheduling, fundraising, a juried art exhibit, a children’s art exhibit, entertainment, catering and more.

Certificate students will be able to pick their areas of interest and work with the directors of those departments. “Because our students are not just volunteering their time but are in an active learning relationship through us, they get an experience that no one else can,” Marianne says, adding, “This really is a great opportunity!”

Marianne notes that while community education “isn’t the literal fountain of youth, it can offer a sense of real community involvement that can help keep our students younger for years to come!”

Register for these classes and more at Connect2Classes.

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Creative kids are better prepared for career success

CreativeKids-Connect2Classes Camps

Preparing your kids for their future may seem daunting, but picking activities that nurture their creativity, imagination, and ingenuity can help set them on their career path.

Automation will replace more and more jobs in the coming years, but new jobs are being created that we couldn’t have imagined. In a rapidly changing marketplace, innovation will become even more critical to career success. According to an IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs, creativity was picked as the best asset for an organization’s success.

But, creativity, it turns out, is on the decline. A 2010 study of about 300,000 creativity tests going back to the 1970s found that creativity has decreased among American children in recent years. Children are less innovative and imaginative, as well as being less able to articulate their ideas than in previous decades.

There is good news, thankfully. Creativity skills can be nurtured through hands-on, interactive processes. Creativity is often about resourcefulness and being able to work within constraints. Innovation comes from being able to evaluate available resources and combining them in novel ways.

Laura Vida of Seattle’s Frog Leg’s Academy believes the kitchen is the perfect environment for kids to get a taste for creativity. “Cooking is a great way to develop creativity because it can be so many things. I’m amazed at the endless amount of ideas and transformations that we can do with food,” says Laura.

Silvana Junge, owner of Silvana Desserts, agrees that cooking is a great way for kids to develop self-confidence through the combination of creative and technical skills needed to create in the kitchen. “My kitchen is a big lab where kids play with math, science, and chemistry,” says Silvana. “They mix and match flavors, color, and textures using their imagination, senses, and intuition to create something totally unique.”

Creativity skills learned in one area, say visual, culinary, or performance arts, can translate to other areas. Once a child, or adult, develops a creative habit, ingenuity becomes a regular source of motivation and inspiration for them.

Christi Cruz of Wedgwood Drama Studio says that “when young people are encouraged to take risks, try new things, and stretch their growing wings in a supportive environment, they gain experiences they can carry with them as they take their next leaps in life.”

Spring break learning experiences for kids and teens are an excellent way to encourage a deep dive into creativity and innovative thinking while maximizing fun. It might even spark a lifelong creative passion in them!

Find camps from cooking to baseball now at Connect2Classes.com and take advantage of our $10 spring break coupon.

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Revit Classes by Ideate Inc.

Palace of Assembly Chandigarh 2006.jpg

Ideate delivers best-in-class training for new professionals in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industries. Revit Fundamentals continues to be a highly requested class and Ideate offers a variety of different training options, including in-person and online, for those looking to enter the Building Information Modeling (BIM) world or upgrade their skills.

Revit Architecture works the way architects and designers think and work. Purpose-built for the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process, Revit Architecture helps you accurately capture your early design concepts and maintain and share your vision through design, documentation, revisions, and construction.

Architects and designers love the realistic experience they can provide for their clients using Revit’s rendering and 3D views capabilities. But Revit is more than that – it is a collaboration platform that allows architects and designers to seamlessly interact with clients and engineering and construction partners. Revit user Benjamin W. says, ‘Coming from AutoCAD, Revit makes projects a seamless transition from preliminary design options to complete construction documents and administration. The ability to draw in 3D allows for coordination between disciplines to occur much easier to overcome design problems while keeping the project moving forward’.

(Autodesk Revit 2017. Image: Autodesk)
(Autodesk Revit 2017. Image: Autodesk)

Featuring instructor-led classes in downtown Seattle as well as online, Ideate’s courses go beyond basic picks and clicks, offering interactive curriculum with a mix of lecture and hands-on exercises. Courses highlight sample architecture and design projects emphasizing real-world, practical applications. Learning Revit is not just about learning a piece of software, it is also about learning the business and collaboration processes that make BIM and Revit so successful. It increases design review and efficiency across an entire project, from concept to completion, and saves everyone involved time and money.

Sash Kazeminejad, a Senior Application Specialist with Ideate notes “When we teach, we make sure to always give you the theory or approach behind why you are pushing certain buttons, and that’s a benefit from the face time with your trainer. Once you have the theory, you’ll be better able to remember the process. Best of all, you can get all your questions and concerns right out on the table. Being able to relate to a live instructor is a big motivator to be a good student. Regardless of your skill set, you’ll always come away with something new.”

If you have the inclination to build great things, learning how to use Revit could be an excellent first step. Book early – these popular classes fill up fast!

Revit Architecture Fundamentals

Revit Architecture Fundamentals Online Class