When I first heard about the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, I thought "it’s a slue of bored housewives with nothing better to do."
Boy was I wrong!
Suzanne Pollak is the co-founder and Dean of The Charleston Academy. She has a PhD in “Food and Its Many Uses” and “Managing a Household.” Suzanne was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and raised all over Africa. She co-authored numerous books, including "The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits," "The Pat Conroy Cookbook,” and "Entertaining for Dummies.".
Most recently, she interviewed Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner and appeared on the reality show, Southern Charm.
My husband and I were invited to stay with Suzanne at her family home in Charleston. Hearing about her numerous accomplishments, I was feeling extremely intimidated about our visit. That all changed the minute I walked into her beautiful, historic home (circa 1740). Her hospitality was both genuine and immediate; her energy infectious! I thought, "this is how I want people to feel in my home"; comfortable, loved, and well fed!
Reading Suzanne’s book made me laugh, get my kitchen in order and inspired me to entertain more.
"Having the warmth of friends enjoying each other in your home is truly good for your soul." Dean Pollak
As Suzanne puts it, “students want to go to Harvard for their academics, but when they need to know how to live at home, they send their applications to us.”
Here are a few, fun antidotal things from her book:
● The dean relies on big earrings when entertaining
● Invest in a good cast iron skillet
● Entertain with an odd number of diverse people for the best evening experience
● Purchase a large wooden bowl for serving up a beautiful salad
● Write a personal handwritten note, instead of a gift, to say thank you to a hostess
● It’s ok to entertain barefoot, but always wear great shoes when attending a party
Lastly, on my bucket list (and Whitney’s too) is Suzanne’s class: “How to Transform your Dining Room Table into an ATM Machine”.