Nick Wallace visits culinary students


Photo Courtesy of Lauren Powe

Chef Nick Wallace works with culinary students to prepare a carrot and sunflower seed fritter.

Mississippi chef Nick Wallace visited Oak Grove High School to instruct and inspire students in the culinary program.

Wallace’s demeanor and wise words left a lasting impression on the students. Juniors Destiny Moore and Mercedes Toto got to know more about him over lunch. 

“Throughout the whole day, he kept a smile on his face,” Moore said.

“Instead of being stuck up, he was very humble and relatable,” Toto said.

Wallace taught the young chefs about the way food shaped his life and the lessons he learned on his journey from hotels to national television shows such as Food Network’s Chopped.

The students learned about Wallace’s childhood and young adulthood through his stories and experiences.   

“He started off cooking at a young age,” Toto said. “He used to cook with his grandmothers a lot.”  

“He told us what all his tattoos meant,” said senior Bethanie Pheal. “He also told the stories behind them.” 

He had a really good friend that passed away,” said teacher Debbie Miller. “That really changed his life.

The culinary students got the opportunity to make a dish with Wallace during his visit.

“They made a carrot-sunflower seed fritter with strawberry puree and a carrot puree with leeks and crushed pecans sprinkled on top,” Miller said.

The students also prepared a dish for Wallace as a token of appreciation for his time and advice. 

“We made him Jamaican jerk chicken tacos,” Pheal said.