decorative image of flambe_900 , Auto Draft 2019-11-26 09:12:47 Published: 11-26-2019

By Troy Moon, Pensacola State College

Pensacola State College culinary instructor Chef Joni Verlin recently introduced a new vocabulary word to a dining room full of Dixon School of Arts & Science students in spectacular, dramatic fashion.

The word? “Flambe”. That’s fancy French for “flamed”.

And when Verlin tipped her copper pot and the dark rum ignited in a gasp-inducing flame, there was no doubt that the word and experience would forever be seared into their eager minds.

“And there you have Bananas Foster,” Verlin said at the end of her cooking demonstration in the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Dining Room at PSC, garnering applause from the students even before they tasted the New Orleans-born dessert delicacy.

The nearly two-dozen Dixon students were visiting the PSC Culinary Arts program as part of the middle school’s celebrated arts program. The next day, a different group of students visited the Cosmetology program, where they watched PSC students style hair and received tips from instructors. Dixon School art director Lisa Puzon said students chosen for the visits had expressed interest or had shown aptitude in the two fields.

“I hope they get a lot of inspiration,” Puzon said. “I hope it expands their vision of what their future can be.”

All but one of the students said they had never tasted Bananas Foster before their PSC visit.

“That’s good,” said Dixon eighth-grader Tykerea Walker after her first bite of the dessert, which is always served with ice cream. The cookie PSC threw in just added to the experience. “That’s real good.”

Tykerea said she’s a fine cook herself.

“I make great lasagna,” she said. “My grandmother taught me how to cook. My cooking is so good it melts in your mouth just like grandma’s does.”

Verlin stressed to the students that her tableside preparation was about more than just cooking.

“It’s not just about the dish you’re preparing,” she said. “It’s about the show that you’re putting on.”

The next day during the cosmetology program visit, Puzon said the previous day’s students were very impressed with the visit and eager to come back.

“They want to learn more,” she said. “They’re already fundraising to come back for one of the lunches.”

The PSC Culinary Arts Program Lunch & Dinner Series offers the public a chance to enjoy meals prepared by PSC Culinary Arts students. Lunch and dinners are offered monthly and reservations go quickly. The next available lunch and dinner available will be in February, though dates and times have not yet been set.”

“They loved the Bananas Foster,” Puzon said. “They want to taste it all now.”

For information on the PSC Culinary Lunch & Dinner series, go to

Dixon students visit PSC's culinary arts, cosmetology programs

Students from Dixon School of the Arts recently visited PSC on two separate field trips to get a look at culinary arts students and cosmetology students in action. Video by Troy Moon.

Posted by Pensacola State College on Monday, November 25, 2019