Rules for Cooking Class

During the Amuse-bouche post of our cooking class chronicle with Chef Marcus of Tavolo, I referenced obnoxious classmates.  I know, I know…If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.

Sorry, but I have to vent!must-not-judge-people-mlk-day-ecard-someecards

There is one in every crowd, one person who has to be the center of attention, cause everyone to look at her and who thinks she is hot sh**!   (Sorry again, but I am wound up!)

Even before the class started an aging Southern Belle was trying to flirt and engage Chef Marcus as he tried to hurriedly finish prepping.   (Excuse me, could your name be Blanche DuBois?)    She was loud, annoying, and already drinking wine.


“I’ve always relied on the kindness of strangers….” Only in a much LOUDER voice!

I began this series about our fabulous cooking class with Chef Marcus by mentioning some things to expect to encounter if you take a cooking class.

I will end the series with what NOT to do when you participate in a cooking class or demonstration.

Chef wanted to show us what the mostarda looked like so he passed around a small bowlful for us all to LOOK at.   Blanche stuck her fingers in it for a sample.

We were prepared for her to lick every plate that was passed by for viewing only.

Flirting with the chef and being cutesy can only get you so far.    While he was running his Harissa dough through the pasta maker, Blanche commented on how skinny the linguine was.   “Can you put me through that machine too?” she asked sweetly.

The Hubs commented, thankfully under his breath, “By all means can you? Please?”

After another ridiculous question, another husband sitting by us and well within earshot of Blanche responded with a retort of some kind.   Unfortunately, this bonded him with The Hubs as co-conspirators and Blanche-haters from this point in the class on.

When chef presented his truly innovative saltimbocca, she asked if it were just like a turducken!

At the end of the evening as all the guests were leaving, I heard her comment, “I am the cutest 62-year-old you will ever see.”

Good god!!!!

Chef Marcus was so gracious with her even though I am sure he was sorely annoyed at times.

The host and servers were more than helpful in trying to minimize her disruptive behavior.

When I was telling my sister this story, I mentioned that it seemed like the servers never let her wine glass go empty.   In fact, there was typically another glass waiting on her before she had even taken two sips of the existing wine.    My sister commented that perhaps the staff was trying to get her drunk so she would shut up.   Perhaps, indeed.

Rules of non-engagement for a cooking class:

  1. Do not engage the chef as he is prepping before class.    I am sure he will answer all inane questions during the demonstrations.
  2. Do not flirt with the chef (especially if you are old enough to be his mother).
  3. Do not stick your fingers in anything.
  4. Definitely do not compare the chef’s crowning achievement with a turducken.
  5. Do not draw unneeded attention to yourself.
  6. Give yourself a two glass of wine maximum.

Sorry ’bout that.   It has been a long time since I have done one of my snarky posts.      She really didn’t ruin our fun and she has provided us with many laughs as we retell these tales.


To end on a positive note, I would highly recommend The Stock Pot for not only classes, but also for the latest in kitchen gadgetry and restaurant supplies.      It is so cool to shop where the “real” chefs shop.


Chef Marcus, ever so gracious and patient!

The new Italian Restaurant Tavolo will be opening next month.   I can’t wait.     According to Chef Marcus, they will be “pushing boundaries.”   He promises there will be no place in Tulsa like it and that they will truly be presenting modern Italian cuisine.

Besides seeing chefs up close and personal and learning secrets from their trade, I love seeing how down to earth most are.    Chef Marcus is not a culinary graduate and his first career was as a graphic designer.    His dad was a fisherman and he had “no gastronomical experiences” growing up:   “My parents didn’t take me to France as a child.”     It was his passion for food and flavors (and hard work) of course that led him to his second career.    Before the new Tavolo venture, Chef Marcus was at The Brasserie (one of the only French restaurants in Tulsa).

Now, in addition to being the executive chef at the new Tavolo, Chef Marcus and his wife, Aubrey, are also working on a new project:   Social.

I guess seeing people who are living their passion gives me the impetus to keep striving toward what I want.   (Once I figure out what exactly that is, I will let you know.)

I know one thing I want:   I want to visit Tavolo as soon as it is open!   We are already making plans to visit with friends.

To read more about this new restaurant, click here.   (The owner, Justin Thompson, and his restaurant Juniper were featured in Savuer’s “Top 100” this past year.)    With this kind of backing and supporting cast, how can Tavolo go wrong?

18 comments to Rules for Cooking Class

  • OH my – I work with someone like that! Of course I have worked with people like that all my life and yes, also in church, classes etc… I learned long ago, that the females seem to be missing the attention they should have received as a child from their dad for some reason and clearly they will seek that attention for the entire rest of their lives! Hmmmmmm….a CUTE 62-year-old? drunk and wrinkled has always been cute to me! BTW, for some reason I thought this class was in the morning and I found it a little odd that one of your rules would be to hold it to a 2-wine-glass maximum! 🙂 Sending out the apron this morning!

    • I can see your confusion—adult beverage limit for a morning class!!!! 🙂 Every “class” we have been to has been in the evenings with wine available for purchase.

  • She stuck her fingers in the food? She STUCK her finger in the FOOOOOOD?

    Girl, I hope someone slapped her hand for that one.

    • Lots of eye rolling, but as I recall no one slapped her hands. Maybe we were the only ones that noticed. (Yes, we were sitting only one person away from her.)

  • I wonder why she even bothered to attend a cooking class at all…

  • You are so funny, but I’m sure glad I know the rules now 🙂 I think there’s a “Blanche” in most social situations.

  • I think Kelli is right. Some people never grow up and as for the staff constantly filling her glass, I’d have cut her off! Anyone that obnoxious will only get more obnoxious when drunk. That said, we enjoyed your funny story!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Stacy. I kind of got the impression that she might have been a regular. :). I will definitely ask if the “cutest 62 year old” is attending when we register for the next one.

  • Annoying classmates are terrible. You really want to trip them but you feel sorry for them because they are just so stupid.
    I went to a religion class that a noted speaker in our area was teaching. It was a class of about 100–it was a lecture. The guy was amazing–really new his stuff. It was a lecture but one old lady kept waving her hand and making dumb irrelevant comments. This was note an ‘ask questions’ kind of class.
    I was really annoyed because I paid a babysitter so I could enjoy his lecture–I didn’t want to pay a sitter to listen to her annoying babble! So I think I get it! The gentleman giving the lecture was very kind to her but the other 99 wanted to throw rotten tomatoes at her. How did I really feel!!!! Thanks for letting me vent. I haven’t thought about that for 15 years. But you post brought it all back.

    • Sorry to bring back bad memories. Like I said, there is one in every crowd. You do want to trip them but then you would be drawing unneeded attention to yourself!

  • This made me smile. We ALL have encountered someone somewhat like this, although I believe your Blanche may be a truly unique piece of work. I agree with your rules for a cooking class (or any group event for that matter) without exception! Great story for a laugh on a Sunday afternoon, Debra.

  • Oh I had to laugh! Been there – seen that! I think you’re first poster says it all. 🙂

  • I love juniper! Good to know about stock pot and tavolo!