Unleashing Culinary Creativity

With the love of creative cooking in mind, Bosque Arts Center Culinary Club hosts a variety of fun and interesting events for foodies and aspiring chefs

CLIFTON – Why would you join a Culinary Club? Because you love food. Because you like to be creative. Because you want to learn new techniques, and be inspired by others who love to cook. Whatever the reason, there’s a place for you with the Bosque Arts Center’s Culinary Club.

Founded in 2007, the Culinary Club hosts cooking classes in the excellent commercial-style BAC kitchen, wine tastings, and other food events – like the upcoming Master Chef Junior Culinary Camp for the youth the first week of August – at the Bosque Arts Center.  About 20 members regularly show up for the bi-monthly meetings.

Up next for the Culinary Club will be a homemade ice cream social on Thursday, July 21, at 5:30 p.m. in but the group often helps with BAC events outside of the regular scheduled meetings. 

In September 2021, the club members held their meeting at the Valley Mills winery, giving them a chance to sample and savor different wines during a wine tasting with some snacks. The setting alone on the winery patio was worth the drive.

After a Thanksgiving meal meeting in November – a tradition started by Jenny Walker. It is pot luck style and always so good – former culinary writer Sidney Carlisle – now local real estate agent – offered a talk on her experiences. Before she got into real estate, Carlisle was a freelance food writer, who was published in about 70 magazine articles, 200 newspaper columns, and published two cookbooks. 

In March, the club came together and enjoyed each other’s company with Irish and green foods in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. There was a green salad, black and brown brownies, Guinness cake, soda bread, Irish scones, Shepherd's Pie, and of course Guinness Stout

In May, the BAC Culinary Club enjoyed an informative program when Felicia and Dustin Frederick gave an insightful presentation on charcuterie board arrangement and presentation. 

The young couple began their business, Frederick & Co. Charcuterie and Graze Boards, in January 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Despite the many challenges faced during the long pandemic such as supply chain issues, food shortages of every kind, and escalating costs, the couple has continued to flourish and expand their clientele base. 

Felicia grew up in Clifton and Cranfills Gap while Dustin is a Hamilton native.  They met as teenagers working at Hamilton’s renowned burger establishment, Storm's Drive-In Restaurant.  The couple lives with their two young sons between Clifton and Valley Mills where they also maintain a garden featuring the variety of herbs used on their boards which are not only attractive but edible. 

As they demonstrated how to build a grazing board, the couple gave some background information on themselves. Dustin served eight years in the US Marine Corps including deployment in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Felecia said the origins of their business started with “sample plates” they created for their boys to help them develop a taste for different foods. 

They used more than two dozen different food items during their demonstration for the Culinary Club. The board included several varieties of artisan cheeses and charcuterie meats, fresh and dried fruits, honey, nuts, olives, fig jam, mushrooms, assorted chocolates, specialty crackers, herbs and flowers.  Following the demonstrations, those in attendance were able to dine on the beautiful presentation.

Other speakers and chefs in the past included owner of Hico’s Wiseman House Chocolates Kevin Wenzel, who demonstrated a special chocolate dessert. Cookbook author and teacher Martha Hopkins, prepared scones. Local restaurateurs Raul Contreras of Cactus Grill and Nena Rieser of Corner Drug Cafe have brought their talents to the Club, as did private chefs Theresa Carrier and Jenny Ellis, and the official chocolate taster for M&M/Mars, Connie Murphy. Her talk was really interesting and the Culinary Club members got to sample 12 different chocolates. Baking Bread Bakery’s Paul Morales also provided a cooking demonstration.

The club has hosted events like the "Men Who Cook" contests.  The last one was judged by Texas State Technical College Culinary Arts chef instructors, Lynn Krause and Gayle Van Sant. 

Another project the Culinary Club undertook was to produce their “The Art of Cooking” cookbook, filled with recipes from their culinary members. The beautiful cover art Jelly Jars by Kathy Tate was the 2013 Art Patron's Purchase Award at the Bosque Art Classic, and it hangs in the BAC’s second floor gallery. Special thanks go to Blake Holman for compiling all the recipes into a manuscript and working with the publisher, and BAC Art Club member Judith Baker for compiling all the black and white illustrations.

The Culinary Club had played around with the idea of a cookbook for two years, but it never came to fruition because of busy schedules and the likes. The respite in activities due to COVID-19 got club members inspired to finally make the special cookbook happen. The cookbook is available through Amazon, Hulu Publishing, and the BAC gift shop.

The funds raised with the cookbook will help finance a variety of club activities from cooking demonstrations and/or dinners by “celebrity chefs” like Tom Perini, Grady Spears, Gerard Thompson, Michael Osborn, and Ken Patrick. The Culinary Club also uses their funds to purchase items – such as serving utensils or new dishes – for kitchen use and they make a yearly donation to the BAC for building use.

If you are interested in unleashing your inner chef, share recipes, help plan events, assist the Bosque Arts Center with hors d'oeuvres, the Culinary Club might be something you would enjoy. They meet on Third Thursdays, 5:30pm, in the odd months.

“It’s a fun group who love to share good times with good food and fellowship,” said Culinary Club director Virginia Richards said. “We are a very informal group, with no officers or dues, but members must be members of the BAC.  We are not the "caterers" of the BAC, but we often host luncheons, dinners or sell tickets to celebrity chef events to fund our group or purchase kitchen items. On such occasions, we don our black BAC Culinary Club aprons and work together in the kitchen. 

“Sometimes club members provide demonstrations and we all remember Carolyn Flanagan's strawberry pie and Bryan Davis' no-measure buttermilk biscuits.”

Contact the BAC at 254 675 3724 to learn more about how to become involved.

CHISHOLM COUNTRY magazine correspondent BRYAN DAVIS contributed to this article.

Photos by BRYAN DAVIS & SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

©2022 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

1 comment

  1. Saranne Penberthy 18 July, 2022 at 19:52 Reply

    Great article about the Culinary Club at the Bosque Arts Center…just one of many opportunities there. Culinary Club is fun, informative, and interesting. Good job, Simone.

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