Train Like a Top Chef

This past weekend, I went down to the Mississippi Delta to my hometown of Greenwood for a girls’ weekend.  CB’s mom is a fantastic cook and enjoys spending time at the Viking Cooking School and checking out the McCarty pottery in the Delta.  She, CB’s sister (MM) and I all met some other ladies and my mom joined for 2 cooking classes.  Viking Range has been a leader in kitchen appliances for many years since it was founded in Greenwood in the 1980s and went on to host cooking classes at its headquarters in the 2000s.  I feel so proud that my very own small town home has made it’s mark on the map for people from all over (Nashville to New Orleans to Birmingham, etc.) looking for a quiet weekend of good food and relaxation at the Alluvian boutique hotel and spa.  This has become an annual trip and many of the women have even begun collecting their own McCarty collections and stocking up on Viking appliances from the cooking store on their visits.

Now I will have to admit, the first time that my mom and I ever tried one of these classes (The Julia Child based class) a few years ago, I probably could have used a beginner lesson in boiling water first.  But I have come a long way from my first cooking projects after leaving college and the Chi O house food, and I was eager to learn how to make the first dinner consisting of grilled asparagus, scalloped potatoes, and filet mignon on top of French bread.  The key to the filet mignon is to ensure that the meat is dry to avoid the Maillard effect.  We finished dinner with a chocolate mouse which was divine.  On Saturday, we tried a more Italian cuisine of chicken and risotto with a balsamic vinaigrette salad and goat cheese bruschetta appetizers.  Then we relaxed at the Alluvian spa with massages.

The Viking Cooking classes are a great way to receive training from expert chefs using expert equipment.  Although most of the recipes are a bit more involved for most of us to try during the busy week, they are great for breaking out to impress your dinner party guests.  I feel much more confident after practicing my cooking skills over the weekend with a group of other women and learning from them and our instructor.  The girls getaway weekend was a relaxing success!

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