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Kitchen Capers Myrtle Beach Cooking School Steals the Show
Kitchen Capers is deceiving to mere eyes, but noses know its secret – the Myrtle Beach business just doesn’t sell kitchenware but it is also a cooking school.
Gourmet meals impressive enough to rival those any fine dining restaurant are prepared with finesse and ingenuity by Debbie Turner, a chef who has traveled around the world and around the corner to learn the lessons she now teaches others.
Turner, who is an administrator at Coastal Carolina Oral Surgery, began operating the Myrtle Beach cooking school in 2009. That’s the year her and the owner of Kitchen Capers, Myra Botts, forged ahead on a collective mission to bring an intimate and fun cooking school to the Grand Strand.
Each class is only $40, with a variety of choices including theme dinners like Southern Comfort with a menu showcasing Southern Pan Fried Pork Chops, Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Cream Gravy, Smothered Green Beans, Skillet Corn Bread and Grandma’s Chocolate Pie. Turner cooks for you or let you do the cooking. Private classes can be held for 8 to 12 people.
Just a rock’s throw away from Aspen Grille, an upscale eatery known for excellent cuisine, Kitchen Capers creates magic of its own. However, its exquisiteness some might miss if they don’t have the curiosity to explore what outwardly looks like only a place to buy stuff needed and wanted for cooking.
Pots, pans, blenders, spatulas, mixing bowls, measuring cups and other kitchen delights are all in the front of the store at 5001 N. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. And if you are not careful, you will stay glued to the gadgets and good things that are before your eyes.
From select artichoke spreads to high-end sea salt and peppercorns, there is seemingly nothing Kitchen Capers doesn’t have. Cookbooks are here. Linens are here. Kitchen décor is here. Fancy plates, saucers, bowls and glasses are awaiting you, too. However if you keep on walking all the way back to the rear of the store, you will see the secret.
It is there where you will discover a professional kitchen with a bar counter with a string of chairs holding people quite thrilled to be in Turner’s presence.
“We try to come here once a month,” said Carol Archer, who attended with her sister-in-law, Anne Bullock. “It’s fun.”
The ladies own The Cypress Inn, a bed and breakfast in Conway, and they are sold on Turner’s skill.
Terri Pierce, owner of Hole In The Wall Tattoo, a tattoo studio in Conway, sings Turner’s praises, as well.
“My daughter took the class, too, and she loved it,” Pierce said. “It’s so much nicer than going out.”
The reason Turner is tops with her cooking class is because she can burn, as in make scrumptious meals you will delight in with each bite.
“This is the best-kept secret in Myrtle Beach,” said Roger Knox, a native of New Jersey who attended the cooking school with his wife, Kathy. “Debbie does a fabulous job.”
Turner always had a fondness for food, thanks to the women in her family.
“I grew up with a mother and grandmother who loved to cook,” Turner said. “I had a grandmother who loved nothing more than to have me in the kitchen cooking with her.”
All of that time in the kitchen certainly benefitted the cooking creativity of Turner.
Every Thursday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., folks have an opportunity to attend the Kitchen Capers Cooking School.
When the Rogers, Pierce, Bullock, Archer and Barb Patterson were there on Thursday, Feb. 28, Turner had the Gourmet Dinner Party. The menu featured Herbed Bread (baked by Roger Knox), Baby Greens with (White Seedless) Grapes, Candied Pecans, Blue Cheese Crumbles and Champagne Vinaigrette; Individual Lobster Macaroni and Cheese; Fresh Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Zest; Crème Brulee with Decadent Chocolate Drizzle; and Limoncello Shots (prepared by Russell Turner, Turner’s husband).
The Kitchen Capers Cooking School offers menus of its own, or it allows folks to fashion menus to their liking. Either way, the folks eating are surely not to be disappointed.
While they sit back and relax in high bar chairs, Turner turns up the heat as she reels folks in with aromas no nose can escape.
When white cheddar cheese and Gruyere cheese meld together to make a thick sauce for the lobster macaroni and cheese, the mild savory scent of the mixture permeates the kitchen.
When she melts the semisweet chocolate in the double boiler, folks swoon.
That’s right – Turner will do all the cooking for you while giving members of her class detailed instructions on a variety of cooking basics, including how to separate egg whites, how to chop an onion without shedding a tear and how to make a salad dressing so good you’ll never buy bottled or package dressing again.
Her husband, Russell Turner, is with her every step of the way, serving as an astute kitchen assistant who does all the unglamorous work.
“Watching him washing dishes is porn to us,” said Bullock, as Russell Turner washed a mess of dishes while his wife whisked, poured and sautéed her way into the culinary souls and palates of those around her.
Kitchen Capers and Cooking Class – By JDW
If the go:
Kitchen Capers, 5001 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29577
Store Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Cooking School Hours (You must register): 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (Menus are available or you can create your own).
Price: $40 per person
Info: 843-449-4221 or go to http://www.kitchencaperscookingschool.com