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Spirit of Acadiana: Teaching the art of cooking

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Posted at 7:13 AM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 08:13:21-05

At the Lafayette Municipal Golf Course, legendary chef Lee Nunley worked his magic for some very special guests.

Chef Nunley welcomed special education students from Lafayette High and Northside High to impart some of his cooking wisdom.

Nunley says that cooking can provide many possibilities for careers and personal growth for anyone who learns.

"We can't all be Michael Jordan. But you can make a damned good living not being Michael Jordan," he says.

Nunley took part in the Chefs on the Green program, where the culinary arts mix with golf.

It is the brainchild of Muny club pro Chris Arceneaux. His purpose for collaborating with the Lafayette Parish School System was two-fold.

"One, they'll learn survival skills. Number two, they'll learn about keeping the tradition," says Arceneaux. "You always hear about mom and dad, aunts and uncles, grandma, about the great food, but now, let's put it together."

For the students, it's part of their LPSS recreational classroom, specifically their Community Skills program.

"They're actually earning credit towards graduation," says Liz Mouton, Special Education Instructor at Northside High. "So we're hoping that they pick up a skill, maybe cooking just serving and socialization is very important to our kids."

And, according Lafayette High Special Education Instructor Markesha Young, there's a bigger picture for the kids in this cooking class at the golf course. It's about getting out, seeing the world, and considering what could be.

"A lot of our kids with disabilities do not get out into the community it's sometimes cumbersome if they're in wheelchairs or things of that nature," says Young. "So getting them out into the community on a weekly basis allows them to experience all the things Lafayette has to offer."

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