Food + Wine

Global Culinary School

by Robin Cherry

Viking Cooking School

Where: Greenwood, Mississippi

The food: Down-home country cooking

Back home you'll be whipping up: Fried chicken with a Tabasco buttermilk crust and a honey-pecan dipping sauce

The dish: Greenwood may not be on your life list of must-see places, but the home of premium appliance-maker Viking Range is worth a visit both for its Viking Cooking School and for the Alluvian, a boutique hotel it also runs. The school attracts a diverse crowd, including novices for the three-day culinary basics course—those new to their knives will learn how to mix up vinaigrettes, make stock, and sautée chicken. This is catfish country, though, so we suggest the hands-on half-day "Cooking to the Blues" class, which teaches Southern favorites such as pecan-crusted catfish and Hoppin' John (black-eyed peas, rice, and ham hock laced with red chilies)—all accompanied by local musicians. Meat lovers won't want to miss "Barbecue Basics," which dispenses tangy secrets to low-and-slow pulled pork and fall-off-the-bone baby backs, with accompaniments such as Carolina coleslaw, cast-iron-skillet bacon cheese grits, and butter pecan ice cream. Needless to say, classes are held in top-of-the-line kitchens—stainless steel odes to culinary perfection. For some, the vacation is also an excuse to test out a Viking Range. We wonder if they intended it that way?

Accommodations: Contemporary rooms have flat-screen TVs, high-thread-count linens, and whirlpool baths.

When: Year-round

Viking Cooking School
Tel: 662 451 6750
Individual classes from $59; three-day basics $385; cooking school/hotel packages available; Max class size: 12 for hands-on; 44 for demonstrations

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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