Kent Rollings from “Chuckwagon of the Year,“ 1996 and 1997 by the Academy of Western Artists. He has also been nominated three times for Best Story Teller by the Academy of Western Artists winning that award in 2002 and has also received recognition for my poetry as well.
Raised in southwest Oklahoma near the banks of the Red River, Kent grew up around the cattle business and has been able to get away from it. "I love preserving the rich history of the old west through catering traditional western meals, poetry and stories," states Kent who also hosts the "Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon Cooking School" twice a year. Once during the fall and once more during spring, Kent along with wife Shannon instruct the interactive four day course that teaches students everything from the basics of Dutch oven cooking all the way to specific techniques and tricks.
Lesley Kershaw Tennessen was a student during spring in 2011 but is far from a green horn when it comes to cooking with cast iron. She is a member of the International Dutch Oven Cooking Society, the Lone Star Dutch Oven Society and known as a superb cook who often demonstrates Dutch Oven Cooking throughout the year. Lesley continues to improve her culinary skills exploring other techniques which took her to Byers, Texas attending Kent Rollins, Red River Ranch Chuck Wagon Cooking School. "We learned alot," states Lesley. "I got my education in cooking with nuclear fuel using Texas mesquite wood. Additionally, I learned cooking with various levels of trivets. Then there is the fine art of sourdough and the wonderful Texas twang which I already miss hearing." Lesley highly recommends Kent's school and plans to return again this next year.
While the Chuck wagon cooking school is not Le Cordon Bleu or the Culinary Institute of America, the school is filled with a learning experience for any skill level of cooking. Couples and groups are also encouraged. The students arrive to a scene from an old cow camp located in Northern Texas, near the Red River. Everyone is provided their own ranch style teepee with a cot and cowboy bedroll. Each day is spent learning and practicing authentic chuck wagon recipes just like those from the old cattle drives and wagon trails. Kent also explains the proper care of cast iron and his insight with over two decades of chuck wagon catering.
Kent also holds cooking clinics when not catering or competing as a member of the American Chuck Wagon Association. Contact Red River Ranch for scheduling or visit their website. http://kentrollins.com/