Publix Aprons Cooking School

Publix Aprons Cooking School

By Scott Girouard

As they began the planning for the remodeling and renovation of the Lake Miriam Square store, Publix management knew they wanted to add something special; and they were urged on by none other than the daughter of Publix’s founder, George Jenkins. The new store features an Apron’s Cooking school, the 8th one to be opened, joining schools in Alpharetta, GA, Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Plantation, Sarasota, Tallahassee and Tampa. At the media launch of the school in early November, Carol Barnett remarked that her father would have wanted one of these schools in Polk County, where Publix was founded.

The Cooking Schools are part of the Publix Aprons concept, which the company says “is about enjoying food to its fullest.” It began in 2001 as the Simple Meals Program, which was developed in response to a need from customers wanting to plan healthy everyday meals, but didn’t know how. The Aprons website features over 1000 recipes that are divided into Main Dish, Sensible Recipes, Ethnic Cuisine, Celebrations, and by cooking style such as Grilling or Slow Cooker.

In stores that have an Aprons Simple Meals department, store managers identify exactly the right associate in each store to run that department. They are familiar with the products and recipes and are willing to assist customers in planning meals.

The Cooking Schools were a natural next step in the Aprons concept. Some classes focus on certain cuisines or cooking techniques; others center on topics such as desserts or holidays. The main focus of the classes is to make cooking fun. The resident chef in Lakeland, Scott Hill, entertained the crowd of 35 as well as a stand-up comedian in a comedy club. During the lunch prepared for the media opening, Hill kept up a dialog of one-liners while demonstrating ample cooking skills that the audience could view close-up on video monitors above him.

One thing that Hill emphasized was that the school is not only for culinary experts. There are classes offered for brand-new beginners or experienced cooks wanting to expand their repertoire. For both, the classes will be entertaining and informative. Aprons also offers classes for 8 to 12-year-old children, which Hill said he felt was important because “If we teach kids about food when they’re young, they will eat better as they grow up”.

Publix Aprons

Chef Scot Hill Prepares lunch for the assembled media

Aprons classes for kids start at $30 per session, and adult cooking classes start at $35. The typical session lasts two to three hours and the best part of the class is you get to eat what you cook. Upcoming classes are Couples Cooking: Steakhouse Dinner on December 15, Florida Seafood Feast on December 21, Nuts about Holiday Cookies on December 19 and 20, and Couples New Year’s on December 29 and 31.  Publix Aprons

Leave a Comment