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Get Cooking This Fall at MCCC Culinary Center


West Windsor, N.J. – This fall, the Culinary Center at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) offers a variety of classes guaranteed to spice up any meal.  Presented through MCCC’s Center for Continuing Studies, most culinary classes are held Saturdays and Sundays on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.  All courses feature demos by the chefs, hands-on practice and sampling of the dishes prepared.

September classes include “30-Minute Meals: Cook, Eat, Enjoy!” with Chef Benson Yu on Sept. 20, 1 to 4 p.m., and “Room for Shrooms” with Chef Meghan Cattani on Sept. 26, 9 a.m. to noon.
October kicks off with “From Sauce to Salsa” with Chef Catanni on Oct. 3, 9 a.m. to noon, followed by Chef Yu’s “”Stir Fry” on Oct. 4, 1 to 4 p.m.  On Oct. 18, Chef Yu will teach ““Sushi 101,” 1 to 4 p.m., while Chef Cattani returns to kitchen for “Tuscan Steakhouse” on Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to noon.

Chef Benson Yu, second from right, will teach five non-credit courses this fall. He is pictured with MCCC students studying Culinary Arts.

New in October is “Tea 101,” presented Thursdays, Oct. 15, 22 and 29, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Instructor Glenn Swann offers an overview of the world of tea – its varietals, history, culture, preparation and appreciation – and a demonstration of a Japanese tea ceremony.

October is also a month for a how-to culinary series.  Taught by Chef Bill Conrad, Culinary 101 commences with “Fish” on Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to noon, followed by “Knife Skills,” 2 to 5 p.m.  (The “Knife Skills” class will be repeated Dec. 6, 2 to 5 p.m.)  Next up is “Soups On!” on Oct. 24, 9 a.m. to noon.  Chef Conrad concludes the series with “Poultry” on Nov. 7, 9 a.m. to noon.  All courses in the series may be taken on an individual basis.

November starts off with a culinary and cultural excursion to “Thailand” with Chef Yu on Nov. 1, 1 to 4 p.m.  On Nov. 14, Chef Cattani will be “Playing With Pasta” from 9 a.m. to noon, while on Nov. 15, Chef Yu presents “Asian Infusion and Hold the Gluten,” 1 to 4 p.m.

Two classes presented by Chef Cattani will add to the joy of the holiday season: “Holiday Cookies” on Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to noon, and “Holiday Cocktail Party Italian Style” on Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to noon.

On Wednesday evenings, instructor Bruce Smith presents new classes in his popular Wine Regions of the World series:  “Sonoma County, California Zinfandels” Sept. 30; “If You Like This, Try That” Oct. 7 and 14; and “Italian Barbarescos” on Oct. 21.  Classes are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and include a discussion of the styles, appellations, climates, food pairings, recommended producers and a wine tasting.  (Participants must be 21 years of age.)

CCS offers hundreds of professional and personal interest classes, including many online options that begin every month.  To register, call (609) 570-3311.  For information on all course offerings, visit www.mccc.edu/ccs.  CCS is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccsmercer.

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Glenn Kraft