By Matthew Breazeale
I am not a seasoned chef by any means (pun intended), but I am an advocate for lifelong education. That is what I told myself before I decided to take a cooking course at the Viking Culinary School in Ridgeland the 22nd of this month.
Viking, the same people who not only can sell you a stove but also teach you how to use it- go figure.
I’ve worked in the greasy end of the restaurant business for seven years and vowed when I made a career change and went to Delta State University that I had done my time.
Of course cooking at home is nothing like a restaurant but there's always room for improvement, right?
I signed up online at Viking's web site for 'One-Day Culinary Basics,' which was a five-hour course.
I figured I'd be standing over a hot stove for four of those hours burning something while a big burly chef is screaming behind me "You're doing it wrong!"
I was wrong it was only three hours.
The menu for the class included sautéed chicken stuffed with herbs and mozzarella, Asian-marinated Halibut, chicken stock and Basmati rice pilaf.
The real reason I wanted to take the class was to learn to cook chocolate soufflés.
My sister Amanda, who I duped in to taking the class with me, and I were paired into teams with two other ladies.
The whole class was divided in four teams then it became a competition in my mind.
All I kept hearing in my head was 'Who will become the next top chef?!'
Obviously that was our instructor Sally Porter who hailed from up north and I knew she could put all us southern folks to shame real quick.
With unmeasurable patience Mrs. Porter, who teaches culinary courses at Hinds Community College, demonstrated how to prepare and cook our recipes with ease.
The class ended up being a very enjoyable experience, nothing was burned or bland but most importantly of all no soufflés fell.
Throw in some white wine and the class was more like a party than schooling.
Feeling lucky I've since gone back to check Viking's online course calendar to see what other classes were available only seeing 'Sold Out' in bold red letters on every other day.
Looks like other folks want to have a cooking party too.
If you get chance go sign up. It's worth it.
Matthew Breazeale is a writer and advertising salesperson for The Star-Herald.