Library prepares to host Taste of Sensational Selma

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Selma-Dallas Public Library will be offering more than countless pages filled with information and worlds of adventure in the coming month, they will also be offering something savory for one’s palette as well as the mind. Feb. 12 through Feb. 14 the library will feature some of Selma’s finest chefs in a cooking demonstration they’re calling, “A Taste of Sensational Selma.”

“This is all part of our general theme of ‘Sensational Selma.’ Our T-shirts for the last three or four years have read, not sensational library, but sensational Selma, because we just totally believe in the people of this town,” Library Director Becky Nichols said. “Our Courtyard Café focuses on being outside in downtown Selma, where of course our churches are and so much of our potential fellowship is, and so this is sort of our cold weather version.”

This is the libraries first time to host a cooking demonstration, and Nichols said in order to do so, “we’re plucking individuals like Jerry Light, Chris Stevens and Christy Cummings who are just super duper cooks.”

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The Taste of Sensational Selma will cost $8, Jan Parker, the library’s director of children’s programs who also helps manage special projects said. Eight dollars is typically the cost of one person’s lunch, but for that price, patrons will receive not only lunch, but also a demonstration of how to cook the food and a recipe card to take home, Parker said.

The cooking demonstrations will take place during lunch, and seating is limited to 24 persons, so Parker urged interested participants to sign up early.

From 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be the demo and then from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. will be the lunch, she said.

Chef Christy Cummings will be the guest chef on Tuesday, Feb. 12, Chef Chris Stephens will cook Wednesday, Feb. 13 and Chef Jerry Light will close the demonstration sessions Thursday, Feb. 14.

“I don’t know what I’m going to [cook] yet, but I’ve got to do something around Valentines Day, because I’ll be cooking on [Feb. 14],” Light, who is also the senior pastor at First Baptist Church said. “I’m thinking about a romantic meal.”

Light attended three different cooking schools before he was called into the ministry, and noted that although his professional background is in French Continental cuisine that’s not what he plans to make.

“I’m going to pick a recipe where there’s a little trick to it, and to kind of show [those who attend] something that they’ve never done before, because too many people get in a rut when they’re cooking. They make the same things over and over and over again,” Light said. “And I want to fix something that’s healthy.”

Light said that like most Southerners he likes to eat a combinations of things, and mentioned he may prepare a meal with a combination of a salad, a soup of some kind and an entrée. He also said he plans to ask Selma native, Caitlen Welch, who just got her cooking degree in Birmingham who now works as a pastry chef, to prepare a dessert for his day as guest chef.

Parker said Cummings will most likely prepare several different types of chicken salad and Stevens, who owns Golden Ranch BBQ & Grill, will be making his shrimp etouffee.

“We just have so many great cooks in this town,” Parker said. “I think it’s going to be great.”

For more information visit or call 874-1725.