Bama Dining presents a new cooking project

Bama Dining presents a new cooking project

Crimson Kitchen will host its first class, "Learn Your Mother Sauces," on Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Fresh Food Company dining hall. CW | Amy Sullivan

For those who feel as though they don’t have the necessary cooking experience, LaShana Sorrell, Bama Dining’s marketing director, assured that “the only pre-requisite is to (have fun.”)

Because the class is available to the entire Tuscaloosa community, Crimson Kitchen is a two-hour learning experience designed to walk its students through the basics using a group-based teaching format. Participants will be split into teams of ten and assigned a chef, pulling a focus to work on out of a hat. As the night progresses, chefs will work with students to prepare and master (the concept.)

The first of these courses offered by Crimson Kitchen will be called “Learn Your Mother Sauces,” to teach its students the importance of the key sauces behind a few popular dishes.

“In the culinary arts, the term ‘mother sauce’ refers to any one of five basic sauces, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces or ‘small sauces,’ ” Sorrell said. “They’re called mother sauces because each one is like the head of its own unique family of sauces. These key sauces are essential in creating homemade macaroni & cheese, brown gravy, alfredo and spaghetti sauce.”

“Learn Your Mother Sauces” will walk its students through making veloute, béchamel, tomato, espagnole and hollandaise sauces. During the class, there will be a chance for participants to sample the sauces themselves and the dishes that are made from the mother sauces.

The class will be taught by Bama Dining culinarians such as Bruce McVeagh, the general manager of Bama Dining.

“In this case, there’s five mother sauces, so there will be five chefs that will be working ... They’re going to come together to facilitate the class, and each chef has a discipline they’ve trained under,” McVeagh said.

In the future, Crimson Kitchen hopes to offer a wide variety of lessons based on feedback. At the conclusion of each lesson, participants will be given a survey to determine strengths and weaknesses of the course and to suggest ideas. One such idea comes from McVeagh called “Caribbean Cooking 101” where students will learn how to roll sushi.

McVeagh hopes the progression of the course will garner support for a full cooking class for students.

“I think [starting a cooking class] would be a great evolution of this program,” McVeagh said. “We try to work with the Hospitalities department as closely as we can and we feel like that’d be a great marriage. As it progresses and moves along, that would definitely be in our wheelhouse as things we’d like to try.”

McVeagh originally considered having two classes per semester for Crimson Kitchen, but suggested this and other aspects of the course could change depending on participation and overall feedback.

Crimson Kitchen will make its debut on Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 8 to 10 p.m. at the Fresh Food Company dining hall on campus. Students are encouraged to register for the course on Bama Dining’s website, bamadining.com, due to its limited 50-seat availability. The course will cost $40 to cover the expenses of supplies.

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