“GRCC Cooks” class series covers newest cuisine trends, classic culinary favorites



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications



Sept. 23, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Farm-to-table, comfort foods, and grilling, smoking and brining -- Grand Rapids Community College's "GRCC Cooks" class series is ready to show you the newest tastes in the culinary world.

This year’s classes kick off Sept. 26 with an exploration of tomatoes and herbs. The series also includes “Farm-to-Table: Emphasis on the Veg!” on Oct. 3, “Flatbreads and Soups” on Jan. 21 and “Journey to Thailand and Vietnam” on March 18. “GRCC Cooks” instructors are always eager to share new trends as well as classic techniques.

"For a very long time, soup was a very hot topic, as well as the 'how-to' basics and, certainly, the European classics," said Kathleen Schiefler, who is teaching the farm-to-table and "Apps and Tapas: A Most Delicious Holiday" classes, among others. "But it is exciting to see classes pertaining to health issues, such as gluten-free, and cuisine from around the world, be equally in demand.

"Spanish tapas, Moroccan, Indian, Mexican tamales, Thai, sensational street foods and cooking with herbs have all been widely popular. In any given class participants will taste exciting dishes after working along-side the chef to learn the techniques to prepare them."

Dr. Paul Heidel, medical director for the Ottawa County Health Department, attended his first "GRCC Cooks" class seven years ago: "It was a Christmas gift from my family, and it was one of the most enjoyable gifts I have ever gotten."

It didn't take him long to spread the word.

"I convinced our administrative team to take a class together," he said. "It turned out to be an evening of great fun and team building, and we now repeat it on a yearly basis."

A self-described "comfort food junkie," classes focusing on soups are still a favorite with Heidel, but he said he also enjoys those that showcase foods from different countries, and from different regions and cultures in the United States.

"In addition to creating great tasting food, I particularly enjoy learning new skills and learning about different culinary cultures," he said. "The workshops challenge you to do things that you didn't think you could do!"

Whether you're an expert cook -- or you just like to eat -- the "GRCC Cooks" instructors welcome you to their table.

"As the world becomes smaller and the diversity of our fine city increases, we see more and more authentic local ethnic restaurants popping up, which I believe helps open the door to an interest in exploring new cultures and embracing difference," Schiefler said.

For more information and to register, click here.  Everyone is welcome to attend. Those in need of special accommodations please contact GRCC’s Disability Support Services at (616) 234-4140.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.