Chefs Carlos Russo has opened The Accidental Chef Cooking School located on Garfield Street next to Esprit de Coeur.
Angelle Baudin Gooding bought both buildings (the cooking school was once Mooney’s, the other was perpetually an old-fashioned boarding house) and breathed new life into each of its bones. Esprit de Coeur will now function as an event venue for weddings, meetings and parties with the catering in the capable hands of the chefs right next door.
The Accidental Chef is not an accredited cooking school. Rather, it’s a place where groups can come in and participate in the creation of their meal by learning from the chefs then enjoy eating it right away. Customers can arrange for this to be a party or simply a fun diversion from a typical evening. They can give an idea what sort of food they like and chefs Russo and Pat Mould, who will be teaching a few classes as well, can show them how to best prepare their wants.
The walls are covered with a deep russet felt, evocative of the Sicilian stone at a Mediterranean grandmother’s house. Cabinetry is a milky white and the center island, an elongated crescent, is where the cooking is done. Students can slide right up and watch every step of preparation. There are several large pub-style tables available as well.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.