The Freshman Class: Reality TV Louisiana Style
The Cooking Channel has a new reality show called The Freshman Class. It’s an eight-part documentary series about a group of culinary students at the Louisiana Culinary Institute (LCI) in my hometown Baton Rouge. Four students are showcased as they begin their first semester of the rigorous program. Each have their own unique personal struggles as they chase their dream of being a chef.
Tiffany (pictured above left) is a 41 year old mother who put her aspirations of being a doctor on hold to get married and raise four children. She decides to enroll in culinary school when her daughter, April, who just graduated from high school signs up too. Tiffany’s husband is none too fond of how culinary school is dividing her time at home. Their marriage is tested and repeated tardiness threatens the stressed out mother’s place in the program. Note: Tiffany has a blog, The Gumbo Journal, which she gets disciplined for in Episode 4.
Jared (pictured above right) is fresh out of the Marine Corps where he survived bombings in Afghanistan three times. The 23 year old suffers from hearing and memory loss along with PTSD. He fights to stay afloat after many a sleepless night. He says his miraculous return home means he is destined to accomplish something big.
22 year old Jasmine moved from New Orleans to Baton Rouge after her family was displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The single mother is trying to support herself and her daughter by working as an exotic dancer on Bourbon Street–a secret she’s keeping from her family. Culinary school is her way out.

Ben is a 40 year old taxidermist who drives eighty miles four times a week from Crowley, LA to attend LCI. The married father of three tries to juggle his business with school as his wife works full-time.

The Freshman Class airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. EST on the Cooking Channel. Check out tonight’s new episode. Recaps and video clips can be found at


 Are you watching The Freshman Class?

Do you watch any shows on the Cooking Channel?

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