Hone your food appreciation skills at Southern Season

Paul Zoeller/Staff

The typical college curriculum includes at least one course in art appreciation or music appreciation. Food appreciation, though, is usually reduced to knowing whether to visit the salad bar or pasta station in the cafeteria.

Yet being able to thoughtfully analyze the components of a dish and how they work together is a hugely valuable skill for diners, most of whom want more out of their meals than the calories they need to power through the day. It's a skill that requires familiarity with cooking techniques; an understanding of various cuisines and heightened senses - all of which I plan to cover in my upcoming workshop at Southern Season.

The Jan. 28 class is titled "The Art of Food Writing," because it's aimed at eaters who want to document their dining experiences, whether for themselves or online publication. Through a series of exercises, we'll look at how to go beyond talking about food as "awesome" and "amazing," and how to fairly assess flawed dishes. But even eaters who shun Yelp and TripAdvisor can benefit from the four-course introduction to food appreciation.

And as students in the last workshop learned, it's not hard to appreciate the food at Southern Season. This time around, the cooking school staff is preparing a crudité with pimento cheese, boiled peanut hummus and crab dip; salad with creamy shallot vinaigrette, avocados, tomato and bacon; roasted chicken and root vegetables; and buttermilk pie with whipped cream and sour cherries.

The cost of the 6 p.m. class, including the meal, is $35. For more information, or to register, visit southernseason.com.