Culinary Arts Students Talk Hospitality with Viking’s Thompson
Students in Coahoma Community College’s Culinary Arts programs got an idea of just how vast the hospitality industry could be Wednesday afternoon after a discussion with Viking Hospitality Group Retail Manager and Cooking School Instructor Becky Thompson. The hospitality veteran from Greenwood talked to students about the available options pertaining to their field of study, and shared some of her own war stories about working in the field.
Instructor and Chef Brennon War’s class got some real world advice about the importance of be diverse in the hospitality industry to increase your employment value, how to keep calm and roll with the punches when things take a turn for the worse, and the group shared a few laughs as Thompson relayed some of her personal experiences like cooking baby octopus, catering to a cooking school student in a steak house class who, “didn’t eat mammal,” and how to keep an even keel when customers were upset.
“Really, right before the class started the student approached me and said, “My friend signed me up for this class, and I know it’s a steakhouse class but I don’t eat mammal,’” Thompson shared as the class responded with laughter. “First I had to stop and think about what mammals were, it had been a long time since I studied mammals and it made me feel a little bit dumb, but we were able to work it out — she had a salad and a big Portobello mushroom, you just have to roll with it and make the best.”
Students also shared their dreams and future plans that included future restaurant entrepreneurs, molecular gastronomist, bakers and restaurant managers.
Coahoma’s Culinary Arts Technology program is a 36 credit-hour program that provides a solid foundation in the methods and science of cooking through exposure to classical, American and International cuisine, and the art of baking.