School of Culinary Arts Offers Classes for Professional Chefs and Food Enthusiasts Alike

School of Culinary Arts Offers Classes for Professional Chefs and Food Enthusiasts Alike

Sara Plummer
School of Culinary Arts Offers Classes for Professional Chefs and Food Enthusiasts Alike

Whether you’re a chef managing our own restaurant kitchen or just have a passion for cooking in your home kitchen, OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts is offering several workshops and classes this summer to fit your level of food expertise.

For those food enthusiasts who want to learn more about preparing meals in the farm-to-table style while also gaining knowledge about how to pair wines with those meals, Chef Brenda Nimmo and Celia Melson will offer three different courses in their Food and Wine Experience series in July and August.

Around that same time this summer, Chef Bill Leib will conduct three two-day workshops for professional chefs and cooks on modern cuisine and cooking techniques and how those techniques can be applied to that restaurant’s menu.

Both sets of classes will take place on the OSUIT campus and utilize the culinary school’s professional-grade kitchens and lab spaces. It’s a chance for home cooks and professional chefs alike to see what OSUIT’s Culinary program has to offer.

Food and Wine Experience

Nimmo and Melson said they have been developing their classes on food preparation and wine pairings since last year.

The three classes are: Chicken Trussing and Beyond July 21; Pork- The Whole Hog July 28; and Lamb- Beyond Chops Aug. 3.

Each class will include a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre, lessons on butchering, tips to improve knife skills, plate presentation techniques, wine education and pairing and family-style dinner with the class. Participants will also leave with an OSUIT apron, recipe handouts and a Certificate of Completion.

The classes, which can accommodate about 12 to 15 people, begin at 3 p.m. and wrap up at 8 p.m. The cost is $200 per class or $500 for all three classes. People can enroll in one or more classes through July 14, as space permits.

This is the first time in recent memory that OSUIT is offering these types of classes to the general public.

We really want it to be an experience, said Melson, who will conduct the wine-pairing portion of each class. We have a big emphasis on farm-to-table. The produce will be locally sourced as much as possible.

Nimmo, who teaches the meat fabrication, aka, butchering, will be showing participants how to properly break down chicken, pork and lamb and the best techniques for preparing different cuts of meat. The classes will also cover seasonal produce and side dishes that best accompany the meat entrée.

“Craft butchering is coming back. I think people are interested in how to best utilize the whole animal so as little as possible goes to waste,” she said. “We want them to have fun, we want it to be enjoyable.”

The best part is those in the class gets to eat what they prepare.

“We’ll feed them whatever they prepare,” Melson said. “It’s also a chance to show off OSUIT’s kitchens and our program to potential students.”

For more information about the Food and Wine Experience courses or to enroll, contact Denise Wise at 918.293.5030 or email

Modern Cuisine isrealichefs5

The best chefs never stop learning, Leib said, but it can be a challenge, so that’s why he wanted to offer workshops on modern cuisine to professional cooks and chefs in the area.

“The more you’re working in your restaurant, the less time you have to get out and see what’s going on,” he said. “In the last 10 years, the industry has changed. Cuisine changes, plating changes, food preference changes. You’ve got to keep learning and keep pushing yourself.”

Leib will offer the same two-day workshop of modern cuisine three times this summer: July 13 and 14; July 27 and 28; and Aug. 10 and 11. The classes meet from 8 a.m., to 4:30 p.m., each day.

The cost of the workshop is $300 and includes all food materials, breakfast and lunch each day, printed recipes and an OSUIT apron. Participants will need to bring kitchen attire and knives set as well as take care of their own travel expenses and lodging, if needed.

Each workshop can accommodate about 10 people and spots are filling up fast.

Leib said there aren’t a lot of workshops like this offered in Oklahoma.

“You see a lot more in major metropolitan areas. In California or New York, a workshop like this can cost $1,000,” he said. “OSUIT’s Culinary program is one of the few kitchens in the state that has the equipment to do these modern techniques.”

Some of the modern techniques and equipment he will be teaching are things participants may not be familiar with, Leib said.

In modern cuisine we’re using equipment typically used in science labs and using them in the kitchen. A centrifuge isn’t new to science, but it is new in a kitchen, he said. We’re using technology to better what we do, to help better the industry locally. You don’t have to make major changes to implement some of these things in their kitchens.

For more information about the Modern Cuisine workshops or to enroll, contact Chef Bill Leib at