Don’t sweat that sagging soufflé: Even Daniel Boulud had to learn how to whip and fluff. Fortunately, his teacher, Georges Blanc, has recently opened his kitchen in Burgundy to aspiring cooks (as have 100 other gourmet chefs from around the world, including L’Arpège’s Alain Passard, the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, and Dal Pescatore’s Nadia Santini). Relais & Chateaux’s new “L’École des Chefs” program invites epicures of all levels to study under star chefs at top restaurants, for two- to five-day stints. As an intern, expect to work up to ten hours daily, putting in time at each station, from saucier to pastry chef. The program is offered year-round, according to each chef’s availability. Internships start at $1,250 per person. For details, call 877-334-6464 or visit www.ecoledeschefs.com.
The North Cork
On August 18 and 19, sixteen wineries on Long Island’s North Fork (plus two on the South Fork) will celebrate “Long Island Wine Country Weekend: Summer Fruits” with gourmet meals, wine pairings and tastings, and musical entertainment. Each winery’s menu is unique, from the “fruits of the sea” tasting at Bedell (pictured) to Martha Clara’s sushi, dim sum, and wine pairing. Don’t miss Macari’s five-hour wine-and-food extravaganza on Saturday: Expect eight courses of tapas prepared with local ingredients – plus at least as many wines – at the sunset dinner, which will be served outside in the vineyard, overlooking the bluffs ($75 per person; call 631-298-0100 for reservations). For further details on participating wineries, as well as lodging recommendations, contact the Long Island Wine Council at 631-369-5887 or visit www.liwines.com.
Forget the comforts of home! What people want now is the feel of a good hotel room, even after the trip is over. At least, that’s the theory behind the recent proliferation of in-house shops, where upscale hotels are selling their top-quality beds, sleek furnishings, and lux-ury linens. W Hotels recently opened its first retail space, selling lobby-lounge pillows and plush sheets at its City Center hotel in Chicago. New Yorkers get their own W shop this Christmas, when the new Times Square W hotel opens. The Catskills’ Emerson Inn will begin selling its Waterford crystal and Wedgwood china this fall; soon to follow are cigars and wines. Even Ian Schrager’s Hudson is going the re-tail route, with a new “lifestyle store” featuring Philippe Starck goodies, slated for 2002.
bigger blue Jet-Blue continues to expand: The discount airline recently signed a $60 million lease for JFK’s Terminal 6, and will begin a $12 million renovation, expanding operations from six gates to ten and ramping up to 100 flights daily. Look for its new service to Long Beach, California, starting August 29; 800-jetblue. she sells seychelles Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, whose three properties in Thailand, the Maldives, and Indonesia have become the first names in exotic honeymoon destinations, is opening its fourth private-villa resort. Banyan Tree Seychelles opens in December on Mahe with sixteen beachfront villas, twenty hillside villas, and a full spa (800-525-4800). the natural Since Robert Redford opened Sundance in the sixties, the laid-back Utah resort has always been, well, laid-back. Now he’s opened a brand-new spa that offers appropriately relaxed treatments, like the Native American-inspired “Honey & Oatmeal Body Blanket” ($120; 800-892-1600).
deal of the week
L.A.’s brand-new Spa Mystique already has pampered Angelenos lining up for its services – like the four-handed massage ($190). Such indulgences may seem hard to justify, but mention New York Magazine and get 25 percent knocked off any service booked in August. Call 977-544-CALM.