ECPI University Press Releases (March 2011)

Interest in Cooking at Home Heats Up

-- Trend Reflected in Enrollment Surge in Classes for Casual Chefs --

It takes a lot to get a golfer to cut back on links time, but William Jones has done just that. These days, he's spending fewer hours on the course in favor of learning to improve his skills in his kitchen. Jones is part of a trend reflected at the Culinary Institute of Virginia, School of Culinary Arts of ECPI College of Technology, where rising interest in home cooking is causing an enrollment surge in its Casual Gourmet program.

Casual Gourmet classes are designed for people who wish to accomplish more with the meals they prepare in the home. While the courses are not oriented toward aspiring career chefs, they are taught in the same facilities the Culinary Institute of Virginia, known as CIV, uses to train students for culinary careers. They are led by CIV's chef instructors and industry professionals.

Casual Gourmet class topics range from Sushi 101, Pizza from Scratch, and Make Your Own Ice Cream to courses on Thai, Indian, Mexican and other international cuisines. Classes are held from 6 - 9 p.m. on weekdays and are one to three sessions in length. Tuition is from $60 to $120 per course.

The Casual Gourmet program's coordinator is CIV Chef Instructor Dedra Blount, who says working with Jones and his classmates is a passion. "I love to teach and love to empower others to cook."

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