MC BBQ & Southern Kitchen
by Matt Vernon
When Lawrence Fogarty 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 mccooking.com.
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