Carmel's Class Acts

Jeanne Cooper | May 9, 2018 | Story California Destinations

The charm of Carmel lies not only in its quaint village, scenic seascape and sunny valley, but also in educational experiences that take advantage of its unique setting. Whether you’re heading down for the 25th annual Carmel Art Festival (May 18 to 20) or just because, here are some options to consider for sharpening your skills or sparking new interests.

Shadow a Chef
Justin Cogley, the James Beard-nominated chef of Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, and his equally esteemed pastry chef, Yulanda Santos, share their techniques in monthly two-hour cooking classes. Culinary devotees will want to book a Grand Day With the Chef, which includes a private class with Cogley for two, a night’s lodging, dinner with wine, breakfast and a personalized chef’s jacket. Cooking class $161, pastry class $129 including 20 percent service and tax; Grand Day With the Chef from $2,127, 831.624.8578

Take the Wheel
About 160 rugged acres of live oak forest and rocky trails at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley serve as the classroom for the Land Rover Experience, which uses current Land Rovers (or the “Heritage” option of an original Land Rover 90) to teach expedition-style driving. “It’s a slower pace of driving that’s much more technical and involves understanding terrain,” explains the Land Rover School’s Sterling Johnson. “You can then take that to any car.” Private classes $275 per hour, full day for $1,200, Heritage half day for $1,200, full day for $1,500, 831.620.8854

Pick Your Palette
Aspiring artists from Silicon Valley “come down all the time” to Carmel Visual Arts, according to directors Rich Brimer and Carol Henry, who teach painting and photography, respectively, in private and group classes at their gallery in the Barnyard Shopping Village. Offering plein air experiences as well as studio time, they also bring in renowned instructors for three-day workshops. “We encourage artists to learn and explore their own creativity,” says Brimer. Workshops $450, private lessons $60 per hour, 831.250.5732

Deep-Dive into Hives
Certified herbalist and beekeeper Mariah McDonald recently assumed care of Carmel Valley Ranch’s more than 60,000 Italian honeybees, which harvest pollen from lavender and other blooms on the 500-acre resort. Guests who take her 90-minute class, The Amazing World of Bees, learn about hive science in the organic garden, then suit up to visit the main apiary, followed by honey-tasting. Come summer, students will also explore satellite apiaries and herb-infused honeys from the new Secret Gardens. Adults $95, ages 6 to 12 $70, 831.626.2507

Originally published in the April/May issue of Silicon Valley

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