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Hub of Food

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I have been able, in my almost 30 years of culinary, to do some fun and exciting things. I was able to travel the Southeast opening stores for Vincent's Market. In the 1996 Olympic Soccer in Birmingham, Alabama, I fed everyone in the VIP tents next to the stadium… over 5,000 people. I got to feed 1,500 people at the Talladega Superspeedway. I owned my own restaurant, Soul, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I even got to cook with the Arkansas First Lady, Susan Hutchison, on "Cooking Today." Now, as a part of the many things going on, I get to be a part of the beginnings of Brightwater: Center for the Study of Food in Bentonville, Arkansas. Currently, I teach there when I can. It gives me the opportunity to pass on what I have learned, which is a blessing.

Name of Brightwater on glass door

In the episode, we take you to Brightwater and visit with the executive director Dr. Glenn Mack. We get some insight to the Brightwater model, focusing on the larger food system, culinary skills, wellness and strengthening the local food networks to change the paradigm of culinary education.

I am gonna let you see into my classroom as we do our midterm assignments. You get to see my students sweat a little while they serve friends and family for a grade.

He and Chef Micheal Keufner, the lead culinary instructor there, also give us a look at the butchery and meat fabrication program that this school is providing. The butchery program is one that is often overlooked and has largely been phased out of the U.S. culinary curricula, but Brightwater provides this training, which is essential to supporting the small farmers and regional food systems we love.

Chef Brooks speaks with Dr. Glenn mack and Chef Micheal Keufner in the Butchery
a student hands dishes to family sitting at table
two ladies and a man speak and smile

And finally, we give you a taste of how this great facility is able to bring all kinds of events and talented chefs. They were even able to bring some talent to the table from the local Bentonville Film Festival with Dream Kasestatad of Pranom Pop Up. Seen here on the right entertaining his producers at the grand opening event at Crystal Bridges.

This school in the middle of the 8th Street Market is Northwest Arkansas's "Hub of Food," so watch this week on "Cook With Brooks."

TUNE IN: Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 5 p.m., repeats Sunday, June 18 at 10:30 a.m.

An exterior shot of the Brightwater building