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Rene Davis: Passion for cooking

By Staff
COOKING SCHOOL Rene Davis of Pretty Presentations Catering recently started a cooking school in Newton. The two-hour classes range from wild game to Italian cuisine. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
May 1, 2002
NEWTON Rene Davis said some of the best memories of her childhood are the times she spent in the kitchen with her grandmothers learning to cook.
Little did she know those moments would foster a love for cooking that would drive her to open her own catering business Pretty Presentations Catering.
A teacher by trade, Davis taught middle school science and kindergarten students in Newton until about eight years ago. Then, she promised herself she would fulfill her dream.
She opened her catering business.
But the risk paid off. With several years of experience behind her now and many hours of professional catering workshops under her belt, the self-described risk-taker is on to yet another venture.
She started a cooking school, specifically the Cooking Connection Cooking School, at the catering business office in downtown Newton. The two-hour classes last one night.
When Davis speaks about her new project, her eye's perk and a smile spreads across her face.
Classes feature a professional restaurant chef demonstrating and explaining how to prepare one of his signature dishes. Afterwards, students get to enjoy the featured dish.
Four classes already have been held, including the first one on cooking wild game. The response has been overwhelming.
Upcoming classes will feature such respected chefs as Walter Smith, the executive chef at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion, and Luis Bruno, the owner and executive chef of Bruno's Eclectic Cuisine in Jackson.
Davis operates the catering business with her sister, Leigh Anne Randall, and her general manager, Heather Fitch. They are members of the International Caterers Association.
Davis said she hopes people come away from the class with a passion for cooking.
Upcoming classes
Thursday: Rene Davis of Pretty Presentations Catering will present at class, 6 p.m., $35
May 7: Dan Blumenthal of Bravo!, an Italian restaurant in Jackson, 6 p.m., $35 fee.
May 29: Kids Cook Too!, 9 a.m.-11 a.m., $35 fee.
Coming Soon:
Walter Smith: executive chef, Mississippi Governor's Mansion.
Michael Williams: corporate executive, Chef Groen in Jackson.
Luis Bruno: owner-executive chef, Bruno's Eclectic Cuisine in Jackson
Ken Crotwell: a representative with the Mississippi Restaurant Association.
Future plans call for a month dedicated to New Orleans cuisine. For information on classes call, (601) 683-3941 or e-mail Davis at