June 19, 2024


Than a Food Fitter

Schuermann to host cooking classes The Well | Opinion

2 min read

From a Pillsbury bake-off to a hungry family, Emily Schuermann’s cooking is about navigating life in all of its seasons, from the ages and needs of her children to summer salads and winter comfort foods.

Schuermann has been teaching a variety of cooking classes at The Well since its opening Nov. 12, so I already knew she was a community favorite.

I wanted to learn more about her cooking philosophy and how the simple yet almost magical recipes she designs and teaches evolved.

“I have a master’s in mechanical engineering and worked in that field for six years,” Schuermann said. “When I had kids, I became a stay-at-home mom who started watching the Food Network when I was on bedrest while pregnant with my last child.”

At that point, she had a favorite recipe she made, an Asian chicken coleslaw salad she had adapted from a restaurant menu.

“I submitted the recipe to the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off,” she said. “They called me four months later and said I had made it into the bakeoff. I was one of a hundred out of tens of thousands who had entered.”

While she didn’t win, that began her entry into the world of cooking, food writing and instruction, starting with local publication and requests to teach and growing from there.

“I starting working on my blog to document the seasons of my family and the recipes from when I was little,” she said.

Writing her food history transported her to an enjoyable place, Schuermann said. She has now written for multiple publications and has been an adjunct cooking instructor at Moore Norman Technology Center since 2018.

“I live in Norman, and The Well is a beautiful facility,” she said. “It’s a different structure of cooking classes. It cultivates a conversation about food that we can all agree on. We talk about how to personalize recipes and adapt ingredients to reflect what is in season and on hand.”

The kitchen at The Well is designed as a demonstration kitchen with room for a wider audience. Schuermann allows for tasting and ample discussion. In nice weather, there also is an alfresco dining opportunity with the adjacent patio.

“It’s an interesting experience, especially for people who are more interested in the social aspect rather than the more technical aspects of cooking,” she said. “The discussion can pivot on a dime, depending on what people are asking.”

Schuermann said there will be a new selection of classes in April, such as Savoring Summer Veggies All Year Long, Making Better Biscuits and Summer Melon Salad.

MNTC cooking classes at The Well cost $10 to $12 per class to cover the cost of food. Residents can sign up at thewellok.org/all-classes.

Joy Hampton is a public information officer for Cleveland County.

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