New culinary arts cafe to open in Ocean Springs

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Do you want to cook like Chef Emeril Lagasse or bake like Martha Stewart? The Mary C. O'Keefe Center will soon open its first Culinary Arts Cafe in Ocean Springs. The state-of-art cafe is expected to be a daily mix of food and fun.

The Mary C. O'Keefe Culinary Arts Cafe is fully equipped with every tool a cook needs to whip up delicious southern cuisine. Anita Arguelles and Eric Zala work at the cafe, and they're making sure cooking utensils are in place and the kitchen is ready for opening day next month.

"I get approached by people on the street asking when is going to be open," Executive Director Eric Zala said.

They said the idea for a culinary cafe came from so many people who wanted to learn how to cook and bake in the community. The cafe also comes at a time when fast foods and frozen dinners have become the popular way to eat.

"It has been said the art of cooking is endangered of dying out," Zala said.

"It is an investment that's important to make if you have an interest in cooking," Arguelles said about the cooking class. "It is good for your family; it is good for your entertainment skills."

Zala and Arguelles said the cooking classes will be will not be a bland experience. Students can expect creative recipes and a taste of different cultures.

"People can learn about foreign places and cuisines at foreign places without actually having to travel to some of those places right now," Arguelles said.

The cafe employees are also planning to have special classes geared to people of all ages.

"Everything from girl's night out, to tenderloin 101, to wine tasting classes. There is something for everyone."

Zala said the cafe cost $200,000 to construct, and it's a joint venture between the city and IP Casino Resort and Spa.  For more information about the cooking cafe, call the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Arts Center (228) 818-2878.

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