If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that I recently made a trip to the hidden treasure that is Greenwood, Mississippi. I wrote an article for our May issue of the magazine about my entire itinerary and the deep connection I created with this historic town. The buildings, the history, the activities and most importantly in my opinion, the FOOD. Every second of my trip was accompanied by another surprise from the town, so I would like to dive a little deeper into why Greenwood should be your next destination.
Food is very near and dear to my heart as I am a sucker for some good eating and unique finds in the culinary world. I never thought that I could personally make something as exquisite and skillful as a professional chef, but slap a puffy hat on my head and call me Gordon Ramsey because the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood had me cooking up a raspberry granita and lobster tail-stuffed beef tenderloin. If your stomach isn’t rumbling at the sound of that, you might want to go to the doctor because that dish was tasty.
The Viking Cooking School offers a range of classes for beginners, like me, to aspiring professionals, which is how I was feeling by the end of the class. Each class is taught by actual professional chefs that guide you through every step of preparing a meal. I was able to choose from a vast variety of classes, and I went with the “Elegant Spring Dinner Party” for my first go. (I’ll mix it up on my next trip since I’m basically an expert now.)
When I heard what we were making I was definitely excited to eat it, but nervous that my skills would be subpar. That fear was short-lived though because the instructor went step-by-step and made sure that every person in the room was on the same page. I can’t tell you how confident I felt after putting the stuff on the tenderloin and rolling that thing up. To pair with the beef tenderloin, the meal included the preparation of mixed baby greens and crisp potato ruffles. The class from start to finish was absolutely amazing and what made it even more special was the skills I learned along the way. I made a gourmet meal that I can recreate for my family at home – maybe I was supposed to be a chef in another life! My favorite part of course was getting to eat it after, and boy did it taste good. My blood, sweat and tears went into that dish (not really) and tasted better with my resonating feeling of accomplishment.
Typical me, I was cracking jokes the whole time and trying to get to know my “classmates.” I felt like I was just hanging out with friends from back home with how well we were getting along, and that might be one of my favorite things about traveling: making new friends. I believe it’s so important to step out of your comfort zone and make connections with the people you may never see again, but are with you in that moment. After class and with a full stomach, I grabbed drinks with my new friends and the fun of sharing experiences and backgrounds continued. We might not have known each other prior to a couple of hours before, but we left with smiles on our faces and memories to last forever.
I’m telling you, grab your girl friends, your boys, your mom (because it is Mother’s Day this weekend, don’t forget) and book a class at Viking Cooking School. They can host private parties, team building groups, and any and all ages. I could imagine kids having the time of their lives pretending to be little chefs! Some other classes include themes of ethnic cuisines, baking, vegetarian and cocktails, or go for a dinner party like myself! Build that confidence up and eat good!