Classes offer culinary instruction from chef, high school students

ccope@thestate.comFebruary 2, 2014 

— For one Chapin dad and his son, a lot of their bonding time is spent outdoors playing sports.

But on Saturday, Kyle Waring and his 13-year-old son, Cameron, spent their father-son time in a kitchen.

The two took part in “Saturdays at The Center,” held at Lexington-Richland School District 5’s Center for Advanced Technical Studies in Chapin. Their participation in the class was Cameron’s mom’s idea, who works at the center.

“I’m sure my wife would like me to do more in the kitchen,” Waring said.

The two were part of a class of about 14 people who learned how to make pizza from scratch at the center, which, for a fee, offers classes for teens and adults. Cameron said he has baked chocolate chip cookies from scratch before but not much else.

The homemade pizza could be a perfect meal for a family to eat while watching the Super Bowl.

The Warings said they plan to watch the game, and Cameron announced he would be rooting for the Seattle Seahawks. This came as a surprise to his dad, who said he wants the Denver Broncos to win.

The instructor of the class, Jeff Urso, who is a chef at Forest Lake Country Club and also works as a culinary adviser for the center, said making a pizza can be better than ordering one for events like the Super Bowl.

“It’s always more fun to make things at home,” Urso said.

While it may be more time consuming, it is usually cheaper and can be fun. Urso said when he makes pizza with his own kids, they have competitions to see who can knead the dough the fastest.

Urso had two students who study culinary arts at the class to help pass out ingredients and get everything ready for instruction.

Hunter Campbell, 16, is in his second year as a culinary student and attends Irmo High School. Campbell said he really enjoys making pastas and cooking more than baking.

“I’m the stove guy,” Campbell said.

Eventually, he wants to own his own restaurant. Classes at the center prepare him for work in the culinary field.

“This is our school away from school,” said 17-year-old Joseph Bove, who also attends Irmo High School.

James Draffin, who lives in Lexington, had attended cooking classes at there before. He came back out Saturday to the pizza class, which had a $40 registration fee.

Anyone can learn from a book, but the classes are hands on, Draffin said.

He also brought his friend Al Baier, who doesn’t have much cooking experience.

“You take my microwave away from me, I’m dead,” Baier said.

But after getting some ingredients ready to make the pizza dough, Baier said he had it under control.

The instructor even told Baier that his first few steps looked perfect.

Saturdays at The Center


March 15: Shrimp & Grits

April 12: Learn how to make Pasta

May 10: Farm to Table

Where: Center for Advanced Technical Studies

916 Mount Vernon Church Road, Chapin

Registration Fee: $40 required at the time of registration

Contact: Ann Mims at (803) 476-8601 or

Reach Cope at (803) 771-8657.

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