Selma-Dallas County Public Library to host tasteful series in February

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

With the impending arrival of February, celebrations and speeches are being prepared to mark Black History Month, but the Selma-Dallas County Public Library is cooking up a new event of its own, which will take place in the heart of the annual month-long cultural observation.

The 3-day event, called Sensational Selma Cooks African American, is scheduled to take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 -13 and will feature local chefs Sabrina Walker, Cassie Richardson and a third chef yet to be named.

Walker said she is looking forward to the event to share several of the family dishes she learned from her mother.

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“A lot of my recipes are named in memory of my mother, who passed away eight years ago this coming May,” Walker said. “I have so many good memories of her and those memories are with me every time I cook. I am extra excited that they have given me this privilege to showcase my food during this event.”

Walker’s story of recipes handed down through the generations is a big reason library director Becky Nichols is looking forward to the event.

“I just think this is such a unique way to celebrate Black History Month, because we are really celebrating family,” Nichols said. “Most of the people who will be presenting during this event have learned from family members, and it’s really a celebration of that as well as Selma as a larger community.”

With recipes like mixed vegetables with Italian rice, rice pilaf and green beans and Big Annie’s peach cobbler set to be served, Nichols said there to be something on the menu for everyone in Selma.

“They’re family recipes, and the best cooks in the world learn at the foot of their mothers, most of the time,” Nichols said. “And these cooks come highly recommended from the people we’ve talked to. And the food just sounds terrific.”

Librarian Jan Parker has also worked to organize the event, and said the idea of attending a cooking class is something residents have embraced in the past for its variety.

“People can get tired of going to the same place for lunch, and we are really a great new restaurant for the people in town,” Parker said. “People are excited about having something fun and different to do, and they know the library will be a great venue for them.”

Having held other Sensational Selma Cooks events at library previously, Nichols said she and Parker have already begun the process of planning more of the popular occasions.

“We’ve have already started thinking about the next edition of Sensational Selma Cooks,” Nichols said. “This really is one of our library children, and we are certainly going to hold several of this events in the future, to pull out special and talented people in this community to bring people together.”

Tickets for each of the three cooking sessions at $8, and need to be purchased or pre-ordered at the library, or by calling the library at 874-1725.