Best Cooking School 2018 | The Seasoned Chef Cooking School | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Courtesy The Seasoned Chef Cooking School Facebook page

Whether you want to change your diet, elevate your entertaining or learn the basics, the Seasoned Chef has a class for every cook. A Denver stalwart for over twenty years, the Chef shows an admirable desire to adapt to the times, with courses covering things like preparing anti-inflammatory and Paleo dishes and how to pair trendy items like tacos and tequila. Admission doesn't usually dip below $79, but considering how much an evening of entertainment and food usually costs, we think it's a deal. Not to mention you'll walk away with new skills and knowledge to impress your friends and loved ones.

Readers' Choice: Stir Cooking School

Linnea Covington

Though well-intentioned, farmers' markets can be intimidating to navigate and packed as all get-out. To avoid the crowds and find a nicely arranged selection of the best produce, flowers and wares, we head to Union Station every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. between May and October. The plaza outside transforms into a delightful little market that almost makes you forget you're in the middle of Denver. Run by the Boulder County Farmers' Market, a gold standard in this "industry," the USFM even lets chefs demo recipes with in-season ingredients. Take the light rail or bike in to avoid parking.

1701 Wynkoop Street

Readers' Choice: Old South Pearl Street

Courtesy ZERO Market Facebook page

As a retailer with a purpose, ZERO Market exists only to save the world one piece of plastic wrap at a time, with a zero-waste objective affordable to everyone, and all the stuff you'll ever need to achieve it. Stock up on bulk toxin-free, preservative-free, cruelty-free products that come in refillable containers, reusable sandwich bags and food wraps, mesh produce bags, cloth bags and totes and dozens more products you never knew existed. Get with the times and re-educate yourself at ZERO.

Courtesy Alchemy Ritual Goods Facebook page

Bummed out by modern medicine? At Alchemy, you can travel back to the old, holistic ways of shamans and curanderas by attending ancestral medicine clinics, healing ceremonies and workshops, having your cards read or simply by shopping the crystals, teas and tarot decks on the shelves. Wellness was never so much fun. In a rut? Get in touch with your inner divine self at Alchemy.

Owner Michelle Castor conceived of Agua y Sangre as a woman-friendly purveyor of holistic practices, from the educated use of old-school herbal remedies to the healing power of body work or a good massage. If modern medicine's stock action plan of recommending mindless pill-popping without healthy results is getting you down, or even mad, there's no better way to get back to the earth, as far as your health care is concerned.

Courtesy Aquarius Arts & Tarot Facebook page

Out in the new-Denver sticks of Brighton Boulevard, Aquarius Arts is divining millennial futures one story at time, with private Saturday readings by in-house tarot expert Jody Bouffard and a revolving roster of guest seers. And while you're there learning your fate, you can also pick up your own deck, along with the usual accoutrements: mystical rocks, incense and inspirational artwork from another realm. Make an appointment and see for yourself.

Courtesy Moonlight Offerings Facebook page

Whether you're a first-time seeker of astrological readings or a seasoned pro regarding your birth sign, Leah Samuels has something to share with you. As Moonlight Offerings, the accomplished astrologer sees the zodiac through a lunar lens, digging deep into her visitors' charts and interpreting planetary alignments and stars' positions at the moment of birth. Gain insight into relationships, have career questions answered, and see personal issues resolved via Samuels's gentle but powerful look at what lies ahead. Samuels also offers seasonal astrology classes for individuals and groups. She's available for personal readings by appointment and makes monthly scheduled appearances at metaphysical shop Ritualcravt, 2842 West 44th Avenue.

Courtesy Muse Medicina Facebook page

As Muse Medicina, Eutimia Cruz Montoya believes in healing the whole body holistically. The descendant of mestizo curanderos (spiritual healers), her approach to natural and spiritual medicine is rooted in a familial and ancestral practice. The herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, body- and energy-work specialist and trained massage therapist also holds a master's in Oriental medicine and has logged hundreds of hours of yoga training. The Xicana health practitioner is a cross-community healer, an Italian, French and Spanish speaker who makes house calls when not taking appointments at her home.

Courtesy Bad News Babes Social Club Facebook page

There's no guidebook to starting and running a successful business, so Tran Wills and Ali Elman, co-owners of the Base Coat Nail Salon empire, created Bad News Babes Social Club, a place for ladies to crowdsource knowledge. Several times a year, Wills and Elman invite women business owners with a Colorado connection to speak and enjoy drinks with a room full of aspiring entrepreneurs. Dispensing financial advice, sharing secrets to a work-life balance and being honest about sales-floor triumphs and total failures is what this gathering is all about. Bad News Babes Social Club creates an atmosphere of trust, encouraging would-be executives in the audience to ask tough questions and giving successful women a chance to share personal stories of surviving and thriving in a free (and mostly male) market.

Courtesy Frank's Gentelmen's Salon Facebook page

Facial hair is back in a big way, and like it or not, it seems like a holding trend. So you might as well take care of it in the best way possible. Frank's is more than a barber shop; it's a spa break for men, where things are done the old-fashioned way, with straight razors and hot towels, even if it's your scalp that's being shaved. But you can also get a full-service head massage there, a man facial, a brow waxing or a shoe shine. In an age when it's okay for men to have feelings, it's also all right to be pampered, dudes. Sit back and relax.

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