bit of a quiet rant a few weeks ago, talking about the brush-up between Pulaski Technical College and Mayor Mark Stodola over the placement of the new Culinary School. I mentioned a flavor of an idea, and I figured best way to expound on it is to check something out. Follow me? No? Let me
Culinary schools are awesome, don't get me wrong. I have made acquaintances in the food community here and elsewhere who hail from such great places a Le Cordon Bleu, the Culinary Institute of America and the International Culinary
The idea of culinary tourism is rooted in the thought that any average Joe can appreciate the experience, no matter their level of cooking expertise. You can't get that with the university approach — at least, in
Now, culinary tourists range all across the board. You might have folks with a lot of money to spend who might want to spend time in a kitchen with a top-notch chef, or you might have folks who are spending their hard-earned money and vacation time to learn a dish or two they can prepare at home to dazzle their family and friends. Hard-core culinary tourists are also often into enjoying the Farm to Table experience (I understand P. Allen Smith's folks are working on
Er, where was I going with this? Oh yes, the
From there we were divided into three teams that would each tackle the same items, but together. Our instructors walked us first through how to properly prepare collard greens (for those who
Many of the people participating in the class were from Memphis, but others had driven from other areas to come in. The class I took was on a Thursday night; I found later that weekend classes tend to have more folks from out of town and even out of state, who come in to learn all sorts
The chefs are all properly trained and they go
Prices range from $50 to $100 for a single three hour hands-on course all the way up to $600 for the six week courses... but you get to eat what you prepare and take the
So here's the rub. You can have a Viking Cooking School anywhere. It's a franchise operation. If someone wants to pony up the money to lease out
Could it bring culinary tourists to downtown Little Rock? I think it
eggshell kitchen company is already doing this to a degree in The Heights, and doing quite well with it. They have a wide array of local products as well as cooking gadgets out the yang, and they'll be hard to compete with.
Is it worth it to explore the option? I leave it to y'all. If you'd like more information about the Viking Cooking School, check out this link.