Not everyone is gifted in the culinary arts. That’s just a fact of life. But it can be your little secret, thanks to classes like Culinary Boot Camp. Offered by Sioux Falls Community Education, participants can learn how to not only fend for themselves in the kitchen, but make simple homemade dishes that will wow family and friends. Instructor Stacy Fisher starts her Boot Campers with the basics.
“It is geared toward someone who has no real experience in the kitchen,” she explained, while chopping carrots for a stir fry. “We start with basic knife skills – how to hold a knife, how to use a knife, how to cut things properly so they all cook at the same time. We work on different cooking techniques and definitions – what does it mean to blanch? What is saute versus pan fry? We do a little bit of classroom work the first couple of nights. And then we get in the kitchen and really get hands on.”
During each class, students make something they can bring home and share. And with the holidays approaching, Fisher is mindful of the desire to contribute. “Next week in class, we’re actually doing a secret recipe of mine. It’s my fresh cranberry sauce. And so someone who doesn’t cook has a Thanksgiving to go to and is supposed to bring a side. They’re not going to bring that can of cranberry that looks like the shape of a can when you dump it out. They’re going to have what is a very simple recipe to make for their family that tastes amazing, didn’t take them hours and hours to do, but will impress everyone, because it is kind of a special thing.”
For those who have already completed her Boot Camp I, or already know kitchen basics, Fisher also teaches a Culinary Boot Camp II. In the second installment, students will go more in depth, focusing on things like sauces and even gravy.
Community Ed offers classes for those looking to get more specific in the kitchen as well. Fisher, who owns Cherry Bomb Cake Co., teaches cake making classes as well. There are also opportunities to learn homemade jellies and jams, and more specific ethnic holiday favorites, like lefse.
For instructor Linell Madson, lefse-making has been a lifelong love. “It’s just a fun process to roll out, you cook it on the griddle, then some people add sugar or whatever they want, then you roll it up and eatit. Usually it’s a Thanksgiving or Christmas time treat. Although in my family, we’ve been known to have it on the 4th of July. We love it.”
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