Fixin' to Learn
Culinary school invites home chefs to Austin campus for one-off Southern comfort lessons
The kids are going back to school, and it's okay if that sense of freedom is tinged with FOMO. What a cruel irony that adults love learning, but can't take months off to enroll somewhere for the semester.
There is a bite-sized solution, and it's practical knowledge, too. The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is teaching some public classes that emphasize home cooking — but from the perspective, of course, of a professional chef instructor.
There are lots of other popular cooking classes in Austin, but this "Home Cook Collection" is unique for allowing visitors to dip their toes into a real culinary school experience. Two August classes — both on Southern comfort food — invite home cooks on campus to learn about familiar foods at an elevated level.
The first class focuses on savory foods, featuring "menu" items like Southern fried chicken, mac and cheese, and fried green tomatoes, according to the class description. Next up is a sweet class featuring menu items like banana pudding, hummingbird pound cake, and a seasonal cobbler two ways.
Each class covers six items, which sounds like a lot to cover in three hours. But if these instructors can run a kitchen during a dinner rush, surely they can handle a busy classroom.
A release by the school promises hands-on instruction on "technique, dishes, ingredients, and more," emphasizing that despite the granular approach, the classes are designed for people to actually use at home. The goal is to encourage home cooks to have fun and feel engaged in the kitchen.
The release also teases some classes that have already passed or not hit the site yet: "Aromatic Indian Cuisine," "Plant-based Principles," and "Savory Spanish Tapas." This scope clearly goes beyond the Southern kitchen, but when in Rome...
A professional kitchen may sound intimidating, but the Escoffier School website gives a cool, interactive peek inside for potential visitors who can't picture the space. (Plus, tickets are handled by Eventbrite. How intimidating can that be?) Students are encouraged to bring a friend, a date, or even a professional team in need of some team bonding.
Each class is $89, and all a prospective student needs to do is buy a ticket and wait for a welcome email. The savory class will be held on August 19, from 10 am to 1 pm; The sweet class will be held August 26 at the same time. To view more classes as they are added, check out the Eventbrite collection, and follow the school's profile.