Class act in the kitchen

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Mar 28, 2012 - 02:28 PM

Photo: Caitlyn Sibley, left, who will serve as the gardeĀ over the dinner plates leaving the kitchen this evening, checks her notes before starting to compose the salad. At right, Alexis Wormley preps foods for his RCC course in culinary skills. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day.

Caitlyn Sibley, left, who will serve as the gardeĀ over the dinner plates leaving the kitchen this evening, checks her notes before starting to compose the salad. At right, Alexis Wormley preps foods for his RCC course in culinary skills. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day.

four-course dinner, the second of an 11-dinner series, was to have its first seating at the Golden Eagle Grille in Irvington at 6 on this night. The Menu (menus change nightly): Mexican Tortilla Soup; Salad of Baby Greens with French Vinaigrette; Vanilla Cider Pork with Pears or Wild Mushroom Risotto; Pumpkin Cheesecake. In the kitchen preparing the food and preparing to serve the dinner were members of the culinary class of Rappahannock Community College, under the supervision of Chef Hatley Bright.

Hatley, a native of North Carolina who came to Virginia by way of Wyoming, has been directing this program at RCC for five years. She said, "This is a nine-month certificate program. I’m trying to train cooks and to understand the difference between chefs and cooks, although some students have decided to go on to school and get a degree in culinary arts. I want them to learn the basics skills of food service, know how to purchase foods, and to be able to go out and get a job. Learning to prepare, present and serve food attractively in a restaurant setting is an important part of this curriculum." What better settings could there be for learning the Golden Eagle on Monday and Wednesday nights, and for residents at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury on Tuesday evenings?

"We have nine students and they come from all over the state. I’ve had classes made up of more men than women and the oldest student I’ve had was 59 years old."