Friday, February 04, 2005

Stay hungry.

So I went and did this this evening. I like to cook but have no formal training beyond watching a lot of instructional shows over the years. One thing they can't really teach is the proper technique for holding knives and doing all that quick, repetitive chopping with ease. I'm no Martin Yan yet, but I feel like my cooking will go better and be easier now. I'm also going back in a few weeks for a Thai cooking class, the one kind of ethnic cooking I'm really interested in learning how to do myself.

Tonight I mastered the batonnet, brunoisette, chiffonade, cocasse, hacher, emincer, and rondelle. But my tourné needs work before it will past muster at Fleur de Lys. Yes, our instructor, Chris Marquis, was Le Cordon Bleu trained. I really enjoyed the class and managed to get away without getting sucked into the post-class shopping frenzy. The classes are well done and underpriced but clearly set-up to move merchandise and perhaps eventually kitchen refits. I was surprised that there were far more men than women at this class (maybe because it had the word Knife in the title!).

Greenwood reminded me a lot of my visit to Clarksdale a few years ago: a decaying central downtown with numerous boarded up buildings and a general sense of better times in the past but a hint of urban renewal in the air due to a singular angel. Clarksdale first moved the Delta Blues Museum from the library to the Train Depot and then along came Morgan Freeman and Madidi and Ground Zero. In Greenwood, it's Viking Range Corporation, the Viking Culinary School, the new Alluvian Hotel and the opening soon (April 1st no joke) Mockingbird Bakery, where our knife instructor will supervise the kitchen.

After class, I drove across the tracks to Lusco's. My booth was the second one on the right, and that was my server. I had the famous head on whole Pompano and for dessert an orange chocolate cheesecake, really a chocolate cheesecake topped by an intense orange meringue but with the added touch of orange peel and orange juice mixed into the graham cracker crust!

Note to Speedy Marie: On the way to Lusco's, I saw my new favorite overly explanatory business name: "Likker Legger Package Store," which was definitely on the wrong side of the tracks! That's almost a triple entendre!

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