Teaching a class at the Puyallup state fair 2009

Who likes to watch well-recognized chefs leave their restaurants and come to demo kitchens to cook for an audience? I love the opportunity to meet the chefs and hear their perspectives and watch them cook. It probably stems from my culinary school experience and my interest in learning from different professionals at every chance I get. Well, you’re in for a treat, if you enjoy cooking demonstrations!

Bargreen Ellignson, a leading restaurant supply store, is hosting classes at their Seattle location over several weekends in October and November. I’ve taught a ServSafe class in their demonstration kitchen, and it’s a great location for a course. The seating is stadium-style, so each student can get an unobstructed view of the cooking action. There are televion monitors above the demo kitchen, and I believe there are cameras that assist the audience in seeing what the chef is doing.

Even better than attending classes at a fancy demo kitchen is that a protion of the proceeds from the course are going towards emergency student aid scholarships offered by the UNCF Seattle.

Here’s a better description about UNCF, which I took from the Seattle Foundation site.

In our UNCF Pacific NW office, we strive to develop effective
outreach efforts to raise funds to support our member schools, students who
attend them; and to increase the number of college and scholarship applicants
from the Pacific Northwest. We currently support over 300 UNCF students and
scholarship applicants from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho. Our goal is
to be able to provide every local minority student with the funds they need to
support their college education and promote awareness of UNCF in the Pacific

Mission Statement

UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and
nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of
UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our
network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving
students to and through college.

UNCF is the largest and
most effective minority education assistance organization in the nation. UNCF
lives up to the ideal expressed in its universally recognized motto – “A mind is
a terrible thing to waste”® – by enabling more than 60,000 students at over 900
colleges and universities each year to get the help they need to launch their
careers and contribute to their communities.

I’m particularly excited, because the closing chef on November 17th is Ray’s Boathouse’s executive chef Wayne Johnson. He is probably also recognized as the chef who also worked as Andaluca’s exec for many years. He has helped to breathe new life into Ray’s menu and to really enhance the dining experience at such a famous installment in Seattle.

I had a chance to cook for him when he was preparing for a fancy catered event, and he partnered with Chef Renata Bocayuva of Bocayuva Culinary.  I think I was stuck cleaning shrimp and roasting mushrooms, but I had a great time learning from the rest of the staff that helped as well as from Chef Wayne and Chef Renata themselves. (Actually, Chef Wayne commented that my knife was sharp, a true compliment in my kitchen experience)

I’m going to check out the class this weekend and give you a taste of what you could experience at the classes.  There is still time to participate in classes this season, so sign up!

Class announcement:

Support UNCF and Learn from Some of Seattle’s Best Chefs!

Come and join us on Saturdays to learn how to make an appetizer & entree or an entree & dessert AND enjoy a great lunch for only $35!

Buy six sessions for $175 and get one session free!

Proceeds benefit the UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid to help local students graduate from college on time.

All sessions from 11am-1pm

Saturday, October 6th- Chef Mulu Abate, Pan African Market (Ethiopian)
Saturday, October 13th- Chef Matt Jones, Former owner Starry Night Catering
Saturday, October 20th- Chef Makini Howell, Plum Bistro & Sage Cafe (Vegan)
*Saturday, October 27th- Chef Kristi Brown-Wokoma, That Brown Girl Cooks (Healthy Home-style)
*Saturday, November 3rd- Chef Harrold Fields, Space Needle (Pacific NW)
Saturday, November 10th – Chef Philippe Tomelin, Olivar (French)
Saturday, November 17rd- Chef Wayne Johnson, Ray’s Boathouse (Northwest/Global Seafood)

*Date change

To Register: http://www.uncf.org/sections/WhoWeAre/SS_UNCFOffices/Seattle/calendar.asp

Call (206) 292-8859 or email rasgedom@uncf.org