Susi Gott Séguret has long been fascinated with forms of cultural expression. As a 1984 Environmental Studies graduate with minors in Music and French, she combined her love of adventure with her musical skills to explore West Africa and South and Central America as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department. Eventually drawn to France, she spent the next fifteen years introducing American Appalachian music to all corners of the hexagon while collecting recipes and refining her palate.
Following a stint States-side as Assistant Director of East Tennessee State University’s Bluegrass & Country Music Program, having observed the lack of culinary education available in a college setting, Susi turned to the Cordon Bleu in Paris and to the Université de Reims , acquiring a diploma in Advanced Studies of Taste. In 2004, working together with president emeritus Doug Orr and dean of work Ian Robertson, she instigated the Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts, drawing from Warren Wilson’s organic garden and Asheville’s host of experienced chefs.
The Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts is a hands-on, garden-to-table experience for all ages and all levels of skill. Past students have included professors, chefs, doctors, chemists, teen-agers, grandfathers, mother-son teams, father-daughter teams, grandmother-granddaughter teams, young husband-wife teams, women and men in the midst of mid-life change, dieters, dreamers...
With an emphasis on quality ingredients and quality time spent around the table, friendships are formed, passions are realized, balance is achieved. Music and laughter are an integral part of the feast, and students leave with enthusiasm to go forth and nourish the world, starting at their own table.