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Farmington Hills

Spring into the kitchen with OCC culinary courses

February 27, 2013

FARMINGTON HILLS —  The Culinary Institute at Oakland Community College is inviting members of the community to come and celebrate the arrival of spring with some sips and sugar.

For the past year, the Orchard Ridge campus of OCC has been making an effort to expand its continuing education classes available to people not enrolled in college courses. According to culinary instructor Darlene Levinson, neighbors in the community have been asking for beginner cooking classes at the Culinary Studies Institute for some time.

“We have had a lot of new people who want to learn a certain talent — a sauce or soup, how to decorate a cupcake or how to read a wine menu,” she said. “We’re trying to get it going with baking classes, decorating classes, wine classes for the average person to come in and learn something they’re interested in.”

This spring, the institute will offer four new courses available to members of the public looking for topical, one- to two-night courses taught by OCC’s expert culinary and hospitality faculty. The classes all begin at 5:30 p.m.

On March 7, French Kissed Wine and Country Feast will give participants the chance to prepare an authentic French dinner using fresh ingredients and pair the courses with French wines.

Springtime Cupcakes and Cocktails, on March 14, is a crash course in entertaining with tips on how to frost, fill and decorate six types of cupcakes, along with recipes for five different cocktails. 

Tasting Your Way Through a Wine Menu is a two-night course held March 20 and 27. Students will sample a total of 16 wines and learn how to locate their favorites on a wine menu.

Finally, on April 11, students can learn to prepare a variety of tasty appetizers and fun cocktails during the Easy Breezy Summer Entertaining class.

Chef Julie Selonke, who teaches two of the spring continuing education courses, thinks the dishes that will be discussed this session are not only interesting but also easy for even beginners to master.

“I’m classically trained in French food. When it comes to comfort, wine and entertaining, French food just speaks to my soul,” she said. “It’s easy, simple preparation that I think people will find they can execute easily in their home. So we’ll try to demystify that for them.”

All the classes are held in the evening and range in price from $90 to $130. Levinson said that while most of the materials needed for the classes are included in the course tuition, some require students to bring items from home, such as an apron or knives. For more information, call (248) 232-4178 or (248) 232-4150, or visit www.oak

About the author

Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki covers Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin and Bingham Farms along with Birmingham Public Schools, Oakland County Parks and Recreation and Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center. Esshaki has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2011 and attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Oakland Community College.

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