Public News (Houston) - - FOODIES - by Matt Ver­non

When Lawrence was 14 years old his par­ents were mem­bers of a coun­try club. They took Lawrence there to hang out. One day, he saw the chef do a cook­ing demon­stra­tion class. Young Lawrence was en­am­ored and caught the cook­ing bug (he says it’s sim­i­lar to the act­ing bug, but more de­li­cious). He asked to go ev­ery week, he even asked his par­ents to drop him off early so he could spend more time learn­ing. He asked to help and would back up the chef, grab­bing pots, pans, what­ever was needed. Lawrence was grate­ful some­one so skilled and mas­ter­ful would take the time and ef­fort to show and help oth­ers how to cook so well. Later, his par­ents bought him a Wok and he prac­ticed cook­ing at home.

Lawrence at­tended the Cal­i­for­nia Culi­nary Acad­emy in San Fran­cisco. He told me he moved to Cal­i­for­nia for school be­cause San Fran­cisco at the time was pro­duc­ing a flurry of Culi­nary tal­ent. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, he moved back to Texas to put his pas­sion and ed­u­ca­tion to good use. Un­for­tu­nately, even trained chefs can’t find work right away. He started serv­ing ta­bles at Rug­gles and Neiman Mar­cus; work­ing hard and was even­tu­ally pro­moted to man­age­ment. He worked un­der other chefs when he started in this busi­ness and learned what styles and ap­proaches he liked and which he did not.

Chef Lawrence be­came ex­ec­u­tive chef at Main Street Amer­ica in 2012, when they ex­panded their op­er­a­tion and put in a kitchen. He gave me a tour. His kitchen still sparkles. His staff is friendly and knowl­edge­able. His food is de­li­cious and the pre­sen­ta­tion is al­ways on point.

Main Street Amer­ica de­cided to add a cook­ing school awhile back and was look­ing around for another chef to fill the spot. Chef Lawrence said he was not their first choice be­cause he was al­ready busy with the restau­rant and cater­ing, but when the other chef failed to show, Chef Lawrence stood up to the chal­lenge. He told me he loves host­ing the cook­ing classes. Main Course cook­ing school is held 6 nights a week in a beau­ti­ful fa­cil­ity in­side Main Street Amer­ica. It can hold up to 24 peo­ple per class. He says the classes are fun, in­ter­ac­tive and of course, ev­ery­one en­joys eat­ing the fruit of their la­bor. He teaches how to cook 3 cour­ses and that th­ese din­ners with class last about 2 ½ to 3 hours. His “stu­dents” sit to­gether, cook, talk and share com­mon in­ter­ests. Friend­ships are formed around food. Peo­ple make life­long re­la­tion­ships when they break bread to­gether. I think it’s cool, that he was in­spired by a chef that shared tal­ent with him and now he takes the time to share his tal­ent with oth­ers who have the same pas­sion and that cook­ing bug. For those of you that love cook­ing you can find out more about his cook­ing classes at mc­cook­

MC BBQ and MC Cook­ing school in­side Main­street Amer­ica was flooded dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Har­vey. Both busi­nesses were forced to close for re­con­struc­tion. The cook­ing school is set to open soon and Chef Lawrence is very ea­ger to start work­ing with new stu­dents in his brand new class­room to teach them how to make cook­ing fun, ex­cit­ing and how to eat de­li­cious hand crafted great food at home. Check him out, sched­ule your next class and have fun cook­ing


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