If you’ve found yourself inclined toward the culinary arts but are looking for the right opportunity to learn hands-on with skilled, helpful teachers, Washington County Community College’s ongoing Culinary Adventures program may be the perfect addition to your plate. Every Tuesday night, Chefs Bobby and Suzie Lloyd instruct participants in how to make one of a large variety of cuisines from around the world.
The Lloyds come from Ohio backgrounds enriched by a love for cooking. “My sweet Gramma taught me about flavors, herbs, unique Slovak desserts, classic East European meats, and how to make her favorite side dishes like fresh hand rolled Slovak noodles in a rich buttery cream sauce,” Chef Bobby explains. “As she lived to 94 years old, I got many, many years of her kitchen tutoring.”
Chef Suzie also started cooking early on. “Growing up, Suzie helped mom do the cooking from a very young age, she truly loved it, and she liked to experiment with a variety of foods including desserts,” Chef Bobby said.
As adults, Suzie worked for as a corporate insurance broker while Bobby owned and ran a specialty welding company. They each continued to hone their culinary interests, taking courses and attending Columbus Culinary Institute in Columbus, Ohio.
Prior to Bobby taking a position with BP as Global Subsea Systems Lead Welding Engineer, the Lloyds ran a successful catering business in Ohio, offering their cooking talents for large events and weddings.
Being part of the oil industry gave the Lloyds ample opportunity to travel around the planet, including Europe, South America, and Asia. “Regardless of where we were in the world, our first choice of ‘entertainment’ has always been to try to learn to prepare the local cuisine from local folks, many of whom didn’t even speak English,” Chef Bobby said.
The Lloyds learned face-to-face with local chefs, gaining a steady mastery in a variety of foods. Since then, they’ve produced cookbooks and taught classes for years. The teaching component is most rewarding, Chef Bobby enthuses. “We passionately love cooking, improving on common recipes, and inventing new recipes, but our most enjoyable moments have always been when we’ve taught someone to prepare a new dish and they’ve done it well!”
The Lloyds have brought their teaching and cooking talents to WCCC as part of the college’s focus on workforce training, spearheaded by Dean of Workforce and Professional Development, Nichole Sawyer. “It was a perfect fit,” Sawyer said, highlighting the importance of teaching cooking skills that impart knowledge about nutrition and cost effectiveness. “We are super excited about this offering and are hoping it will bring people to campus for this wonderful culinary experience.”
Those interested in learning with the Lloyds can choose themed nights ranging from Mexican, Korean, Filipino, Caribbean, Indian, or Texas regional cuisine, as well as specialty dish nights including football snacks, soup, cheesecake, jams and jellies, and pickling. No cooking background is necessary, though participants will need to bring certain items depending on the theme of the evening. Participants get to bring home everything they make. Classes run every Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. Each class costs $25 and preregistration is required. For more information or to register, visit www.wccc.me.edu/professional-development/ced-training/culinary-adventures.
WCCC is celebrating 50 years of serving students and the community during the 2019-2020 Academic Year. 50th Anniversary events will be held throughout the year and we welcome you to join in the celebration. Thank you for supporting our vital work.