Monday, December 9, 2013

USN Evening Classes Feature Local Food and Beverage Favorites

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 5:57 AM

It's almost time to get your fast fingers flying as the always popular University School of Nashville's evening classes registration opens at 9 a.m. this Thursday, Dec. 12. As always, there is a long roster of food and drink-related offerings which you can discover in more detail at the school's website.

But to save you a little time, here are some highlights. While the classes I teach might not necessarily be the highlights, since I have the power of the pen (err ... keyboard), I get to lead off with the three seminars I'm leading with some very talented co-instructors. Since my classes generally involve booze and are held in some really cool houses of USN parents, they usually sell out, so jump on it! Plus, I've saved up a year's worth of swag from various food and drink events, so most participants go home with door prizes. I don't remember that happening in any of my college history seminars.

David Paine (Mr. Martini) and I will be reprising our popular Classic Cocktails & Scintillating Spirits class on Feb. 26. The syllabus promises: "Participants will leave the class with more knowledge about bourbon, scotch, brandy and gin as well as some great recipes for home entertaining. Chances are good that these experts will help students discover a new favorite go-to drink." We will do our best to follow through with that promise.

I've enjoyed teaching with the always entertaining Kim Totzke from Provence over the past few years, and this year we've decided to just go ahead and scrap the specific thematic class that we've done in the past, since our classes usually devolve into a fun night of drinking, teaching and storytelling. So we're just calling this one What We're Drinking (And You Should Be Too).

You'll leave the class with some great cocktail recipes, but we'll also sample some spirits that are really difficult to find or that are new to the market. Between Kim and myself, we usually have our cocktail shakers full of some of the coolest new stuff, so join us on March 5 for that one. (And remember ... door prizes!)

Finally, because I'm a sucker for my alma mater, I've added a third class to the course catalog this year as I team up with ex-CAO and current OZ CEO Tim Ozgener to present a Cigars & Cocktails class at his phat modern arts center on the west side of town. If you haven't been to OZ yet, you're in for a treat as we sample some excellent cigars and pair them with cocktails and spirits in an all-access tour of the facility. Paine and Totzke may also join in the fun if their busy schedules allow, so you know it'll be a party. Mark your calendar for March 11 for that one!

But enough about me. There are so many other great classes featuring Nashville culinary luminaries like Merijoy Lantz Rucker of Salud! at Whole Foods, Deb Paquette of Etch, Rusty Johnson from Grins Vegetarian Cafe, Will Uhlhorn of Miel, Laura Wilson of Grow Local Kitchen, Jamie Watson of Cafe Fundamental, Sarah Souther from Bang Candy Company, Hal Holden-Bache of Lockeland Table, Guerry McComas from Yellow Porch and others that they deserve their own post.

Keep your eye on this space tomorrow for more details or go ahead and get a head start at the Evening Classes website to be ready for Thursday morning's mad dash to register.

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