Dave, you could teach most of these vocational classes!
That would be fun!
We'll just have to get together and play with our food sometime. *grin*
My sister-in-law is Thai. I've been trying to capture some of her recipes (she just cooks and has nothing written down). Somewhere there is a picture of Lamoun and I both on the floor pounding away with pestles. Her peanut sauce starts with raw peanuts.
They are really designed mostly for entertainment. I rarely teach them, there are a few that are hands on and are geared to a specific technique, method, and/or subject.
I did notice the absence of your name in the catalog. The knife skills course was the one that lept out at me as hands-on. I have a knife day coming up. Boat knives, my house knives, and Janet's house knives are all due for a session with a tri-stone. 20 knives will chew up some time. *grin*
We have tried to offer some more advanced classes, but I think the names lost peoples interest? What seems to grab people are things like Artisan Breads or You go Grill...not Grilling Basics or Butchery 101
I guess sometimes you just have to cater to the majority audience?
Agreed. You know Mike Smollen don't you? He had some great classes, including spending a day in the back doing production butchering. I loved that experience but it clearly wasn't of broad appeal. I'd still take a long time to turn a cow into plastic-wrapped cuts and grinds in styrofoam trays but I know I can do it. Fowl are easy and I can fit a chicken into the galley. A cow -- even a skinny Anegada cow -- would require a beach and a tree. *grin*
As you pointed out, it doesn't take much to improve on boil-in-a-bag or nuke-em food. The experience is a huge improvement and the effort is not that significant.
I recall a delivery a few years ago that was nearly side-by-side with another Swan. The crews ended up in a bar at Nanny Cay comparing passage notes. My crew kept talking about food. The other boat ate frozen dinners for two weeks. They all ended up on our boat for dinner eating leftovers. *grin*
There are some interesting books out about cooking at sea but generally it's all the same skill set, just bumpier. Mise en place becomes more important, and non-skid is of great value. My best resource at sea is Joy of Cooking 1975 (1997 is awful, the 75th Anniversary edition is fine). I read MtAoFC and McGee for entertainment and general understanding. On the boaty cooking front I like Greenwald and Pardey. I have a copy of Carolyn Shearlock's "the boat galley" and am still working my way through it. No judgment yet. I do like her presence on the Internet and her responsiveness to questions.
Dinner tomorrow will be Thai shrimp skewers on the grill with sticky rice.