Smack-dab in the middle of the main campus of South Seattle Community College (SSCC) is confectionary heaven, otherwise known as Bernie’s (6000 16th Ave. SW; 206.934.5828). This on-campus café hangout (named for the generous Seattle retail giant Bernie Brotman) is the sales outlet for the college’s nationally recognized pastry and specialty baking program, which means student chefs supply an ever-changing stream of truffles, caramels, bonbons and pralines made with couverture chocolate (nothing but cocoa butter, baby), along with cakes and pastries, often priced well below other retail sources. These chefs in the making also craft superb seasonal specials.
Starting on February 4, for Valentine’s Day, they’ll create molded chocolate boxes filled with every conceivable chocolate choice, from truffles and caramels to marzipan and nougats ($12–$24 for 1-pound box). If sampling these chocolates is not enough, learn to craft your own through workshops with SSCC chefs/instructors Bill Fredericks and Elizabeth Peckham. Evening and weekend classes are offered singly or in a series through the continuing education program at SSCC, so there’s no need to become a college student again to take them (learnatsouth.org).