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Acquired Taste

Get familiar with the fine arts of choosing wine, perusing antiques, making dessert, and . . . selling fine art.

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art and commerce
When Elizabeth Burke and Abby Messitte opened Clementine Gallery on West 26th Street back in 1996, they knew the odds were against them -- but they managed to write a business plan and find creative funding for their $60,000 enterprise. Then they decided to pass on what they learned to others with Strategies for Starting Up and Operating a Gallery, at the New School. Students will visit artists' studios and learn what artists are looking for in dealers. And they'll draw up business contracts. "Art law," groans Burke, remembering her own learning curve. "There are so many legal issues involved." Still: One recent grad has opened a gallery right down the street.

Six sessions, Wednesdays 6:30-8 p.m., starting September 22; $185; for location call 229-5615.

the lees you can do
In order to win points on the social-sophistication scale, you'll need to cultivate a sharper appreciation for wine than "I like red." To become a pro in a hurry, enroll in the Wine for Bartenders and Waiters class at Peter Kump's cooking school, where Ron Ciavolino will introduce you to the world's most popular varietals and pass on the received wisdom on food-and-wine pairing. For more thorough immersion, the Windows on the World Wine School, with Kevin Zraly, is the unparalleled choice. "It's a great class for businesspeople," says David Lynch, senior editor of Wine & Spirits. "It will make you feel like you're well grounded in wine."

Peter Kump's Wine for Bartenders and Waiters, two sessions, Wednesday and Thursday, August 25 and 26, 12:30-2:30 p.m.; $110. 50 West 23rd St. (847-0700).

Windows on the World Wine School, eight sessions, Mondays beginning September 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; $695. One World Trade Center, 107th floor (914-255-1456)

smartest bidder
If the intimidating world of antiques has prevented you from ever raising a paddle at Sotheby's, Elizabeth Boudreau's Antique Marketplace can help. Boudreau has worked for countless dealers and will advise you on maintaining your precious objects and on asking intelligent questions. She'll even give you up to $500,000 of play money so you can "purchase" a few pieces at one of the tonier antiques shops. "The dealers used to dread this exercise," she says, "but as my students get better, they now get a big kick out of it."

Twelve sessions, beginning September 21, Tuesdays 6-8:30 p.m.; $382. Parsons School of Design, 560 Seventh Avenue (229-8933).

baking whoopee
Wanted in New York restaurants: qualified pastry chefs. That's according to the heads of the pastry programs at three New York culinary schools. Students at the French Culinary Institute work under Jacques Torres, dean of pastry at the school and chef-pâtissier at Le Cirque. The New York Restaurant School and Peter Kump's New York Cooking School require students to participate in six- or twelve-week externships, and all the schools have contacts at the city's finest kitchens -- Chanterelle, Payard, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin. But restaurant work isn't a cakewalk, and you'll probably be taking a pay cut: Entry-level salaries start at around $22,000. "This is not a business to get into because of the perks or the pay," says Nick Malgieri, head of the baking-and-pastry program at Peter Kump. "You go into it because you love it."

FCI: nine-month (part-time) and six-month (full-time) programs; next sessions start August 30 and September 21, $22,760. 462 Broadway (219-8890).

Peter Kump's New York Cooking School: 40-, 29-, and 20-week programs, next sessions start September 13 and November 14 (29-week), October 4 (20-week), and January 29 (40-week); $11,950-$14,500. 50 West 23rd Street (847-0700).

New York Restaurant School: part-time 48-week program, starts in November; $10,130. 75 Varick Street (226-5500).


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