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Style: Something’s cooking

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published July 7, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.

Caution: hot trend.

Today’s kitchen is where celebrities rise like biscuits. Famous chefs garnish The Food Network and other cooking shows on television. The Internet makes everybody a food expert as quick as powdered peanut butter.

Who needs cooking school?

But, as Ron Wolfe reports in Tuesday’s Style section, cooking is a different kettle of fish at the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute at Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock. Hundreds of would-be chefs, bartenders, wine stewards and restaurant owners enroll to make a living.

They learn it’s not enough to know all that a foodie knows about cupcakes, quinoa, gluten-free, chorizo, kale, mangoes, Hatch chili peppers and the Paleo diet — pass the Omega-3 enriched eggs.

Joseph Simms, 32, for example: “I can cook anything,” he says. From New Orleans, he was all but born knowing how to deep-fry a Cajun turkey. Childhood diabetes taught him to cook for himself, and how to jazz up a healthy meal.

“Herbs and spices,” he says like a magician willing to tell what props are on the table, not about to reveal how to work the trick.

Still and all, it takes a degree “to open up doors for you,” he says. Not every door is marked “kitchen.”

A culinary arts degree, associate of applied science, calls for — algebra? Yes, and English composition, and knowing how to use a computer.

See Tuesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the whole story.


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