By: Brittany Thompson
Campus Life Editor
In early October, Savory Creations opened its doors to the public. The cooking school/catering business hybrid offers a wide range of services from hands-on skills courses, demonstration themed meal lessons to in home catering and team building opportunities.
Classes available in December include knife skills, homemade pasta and sauces class and themed ethnic meals from Thailand and Mexico.
For complete list of classes, scheduling information, and chef biographies visit http://www.savorycreations.org.
Savory Creations is located at 1230 Caledonia St., La Crosse.
Owner and Executive Instructor Chef Shawn McManus told Lumen “Our mission is to provide diverse cooking classes to the general public which caters to all skill levels in a comfortable atmosphere.”
McManus’ experience is 15 years as a professional chef with an associate’s degree in culinary arts and restaurant management.
“There is no equipment in my kitchen that you wouldn’t find in your own home” McManus said. “I planned it that way because if you are going to learn, I want you to be able to take that recipe home and reproduce it. It is all about making cooking accessible.”
“The inspiration for the business was not just my love for food but my love for instructing and advocating,” McManus said. “After 15 years in the restaurant business, I found another part of my passion for food service in education”.
“A lot of folks are really surprised and excited that a business such as this exists in the La Crosse area” McManus said. “The positive feedback from the community has been great. The community wanted something more intimate, less formal than a college food course and Savory Creations satisfies that need.”
“Savory Creations is versatile and the concept is so open,” McManus said. “People want what they want. Our belief is to focus on the customer, not be pushy and avoid the stern business concept.”
“For students or faculty, I recommend the team building workshops,” McManus said. “We split participants into teams and everyone needs to be involved in the process. It is not necessarily a competition. The focus is more on the team itself. You are learning how to work together as a team to produce a product.”
“Currently we do not offer student discount but we do offer group discounts for parties larger than 10” McManus said.
“Talking with the business officials in the area, we are excited to help in the effort to revive the North side business district” McManus said.
“I would like to expand our relationship with local farmers and provide updated lists of seasonal foods to our chefs. Then, start planning menus based on weekly emails of what foods are available from the farmers and utilizing those fresh ingredients” McManus said.
“We are here to build relationships and cross network. We are available for catering, hands on team building for students and faculty or general cooking classes” McManus said.