South Melbourne Market has been around since 1867, offering fresh produce from local farmers and delicious food from a broad range of vendors. Notably they operate The Neff Market Kitchen: a cooking school run by experienced chefs from the local community, including Jesse Gerner of Bomba, Green Park, and Añada and Tony Twitchett of Taxi Kitchen. The courses cover cuisines from around the world, including Vietnames, Italian, Greek and Egyptian.
The Humble Tumbler call their classes “the gastronomic equivalent of a one night stand,” giving brisk one-off lessons in food and alcohol appreciation with names like ‘around the world in eight whiskies” and ‘the wonderful world of Aussie gin’. Founded by wine producer Clare Burder, The Humbler Tumbler also offers more in-depth master courses to turn you into a wine expert or “dinner party hero,” as well as super-fun bus tours of the local wine regions.
Studies have shown that emotional intelligence promotes success as much as IQ and technical ability, so it makes sense that there’s finally a school dedicated to developing EQ. Founded by popular philosopher and author Alain de Botton and his colleagues, the global school focuses on learning that’s relevant to everyday life — realising your potential, developing empathy, bettering conversations, being a good leader, finding the right job, and so on. They offer classes in Sydney and Melbourne, with plans to open a permanent physical space in Sydney before the end of the year. Sign up to their mailing list to be kept abreast of new developments.
Work-Shop offer a wide variety of classes from their spaces on Cleveland Street in Redfern, Sydney and Argyle Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. There’s meditation and ‘laughter yoga’ workshops for those looking to relax and disconnect, leather craft, welding and guitar lessons for those looking to learn a new skill, and a ‘communicating with confidence’ course for those looking to improve themselves. Then there are courses that are just for fun. Take for example the ‘water colour and wine’ workshop, which teaches the basics of water colour painting over a glass or two from boutique wine label Cake. Check out their website to see what’s coming up in your city.
The motto of Italian cooking school La Cucina di Sandra is “Il Mangiar bene e’ un’arte,” or “to eat well is an art.” Its passionate founder Sandra Del Greco hosts the cooking classes in her own spacious home (which used to be a factory), favoring a highly personal and conversational style of teaching. Upcoming classes explore Tuscan cuisine, cooking all manner of mushrooms, and the recipes of Sandra’s own nonna, who inspired her love of preparing the most delicious foods. Richmond
Sometimes the most fun skills to learn are the ones with limited application to everyday life, beyond the confidence that trying something new can inspire. Circus Oz offers very social classes that teach beginners the tricks of the circus trade, like swinging through the air, pole climbing, and forming a human pyramid. Gentlemen with high philanthropic values may be happy to learn that Circus Oz has a long history of donating to charities, including those that help indigenous communities and asylum seekers. Collingwood
Looking for a course that caters to your love of wide-open spaces? Gentlemen with great appreciation for the great outdoors may enjoy learning to fish in a kayak — which (besides spearfishing) is about as close to catching fish in the ocean with your hands as you can get. East Coast Kayak offers a range of courses for the experience, from an introduction to kayaking to a dedicated class in how to ‘roll’ a kayak (which means to get it up right when you’ve capsized — an important skill, no doubt!) to the art of kayak fishing itself. It’s a one-hour course that takes place near Sandringham Yacht Club — about a half hour’s drive south of the Melbourne CBD. Sandringham