Office of Community & Academic Enrichment

Spice Up Your Kitchen With a Southern Utah Chef Cooking Class

Posted: February 26, 2019 | Author: Haven Scott | Read Time: 3 minutes

Since Southern Utah Chef’s first year of cooking classes in Cedar City, chefs from favorite local restaurants have been tantalizing the palates of community members with some exciting and unique recipes. Participants in SUU Community Education’s most popular course also get valuable advice from some of the best culinary artists in the southern Utah area.

"Everyone loves a good cooking show,” said Melynda Thorpe, executive director at SUU Community Education and creator of Southern Utah Chef. “At our classes, guests can meet the chef, ask questions, learn kitchen tips and tricks, and have fun socializing while receiving instruction from professionals that often remain behind-the-scenes at our favorite local restaurants."

Since the course’s Cedar City launch in March 2018, more than 180 community members have learned favorite recipes from 20 local chefs representing restaurants from Cedar City, St. George, Kanab, Parowan, Springdale, Kolob Mountain, and Ivins, among others.

Iron County resident Julie Ellis said she was reluctant to spend money on a cooking class at first, but her husband convinced her to try something new. She has attended almost every class since, participating in demonstrations by Cliffside Restaurant, Sego of Kanab, Chef Alfredo’s Ristorante Italiano, Pork Belly’s Eatery, and Nature Hills Farm, to name a few.

“I watch a lot of cooking shows on TV, but watching the process in person amplifies the experience ten-fold,” Ellis said. “It helps to be able to ask questions about ingredients the chefs use, or techniques that are new to me. I'm a pretty avid cook, but at each class I have learned something new — sometimes lots of new things. It's also fun to be with fellow foodies and meet new people who share my passion for food and cooking.”

And, the raves for Southern Utah Chef aren’t just coming from the class participants. Julia Stolworthy, the owner of Sweet and Knotty Bakery in Cedar City, said she has had customers come into her bakery who did not know about her “knots,” a customer favorite, before attending her cooking class demonstration.

“I loved participating with Southern Utah Chef and my favorite part was interacting with the participants. I am not a fan of just standing up and telling someone how to do something, I love to interact with them,” Stolworthy said. “I also had several people that attended the class come into the bakery in the weeks following. So, I feel like I made new friends as a result of my presentation at Southern Utah Chef.”

Southern Utah Chef has three more presentations this spring, Don Miguel’s Mexican Cuisine on Mar. 13, Chef Nehrenz from Southwest Technical College on April 10, and Gather on Kolob Mtn. will be presenting on May 8. For more information on these fun, affordable culinary classes, or more than 50 new SUU Community Education classes in 2019, visit suu.edu/wise and select “Community Education,” call (435)865-8259, or stop by their office at 136 W. University Blvd, Suite 003, in Cedar City for help registering.

Featuring favorite local culinary personalities, Southern Utah Chef engages audience members in preparing and serving up delectable dishes from familiar restaurant menus. Created in 2013, the community television cooking show was originally broadcast on TDS cable in St. George. Today, it has grown to be one of the region’s most notable culinary demonstration and entertainment education experiences.

Photos courtesy of SUU Community Education

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