Viking Culinary School Opens In Lakewood Ranch

Foodies throughout the Tampa Bay region will soon have a playground in which to simmer and stir their creative juices.

Viking Culinary School will open sometime during the summer of 2011 on Lakewood Ranch's Main Street. The 4,200-square-foot space will feature a cooking demo theater that will seat 32 people, a tasting bar and a hands-on kitchen as well as a retail space for Viking merchandise. The school is currently undergoing needed construction.

According to Deirdre Grigoli, the culinary school's general manager, attendees have their choice of a variety of classes to accommodate any skill level from kids to adults and the space will be equipped to host special events as well.

"We teach everything from how to boil water to cooking a full dinner menu," says Grigoli. "And we will be able to accommodate any event, from a date night or a girls' night out to a fundraiser for a local organization. Groups of six to eight people can participate in the Chef's Table, where they get a full demonstration by our chef and are served the dinner that was prepared."

Grigoli cautions that although the school is open to cooks of all skill levels, it will not be an accredited school for those seeking professional credits. "We are here to help home cooks," she says.

The school is the second Viking school in Florida and will be owned by local builder Jim Butler. It joins one already in business in Destin. Viking Culinary Schools are supported by The Viking Range Corporation, makers of stove top ranges and other kitchen appliances and tools. Jim Butler is executive managing director of Extreme Remodeling and builder of Paradise Homes in Sarasota.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Jim Butler, Paradise Homes & Extreme Remodeling

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