After eight years on Franklin Avenue, the Viking Culinary Center is slated to close tomorrow. It had about as checkered a history as a culinary center could.
The facility opened in 2003 as a showroom for Viking ranges (though it did not sell Viking ranges). Also located in the large space was a cooking school and cookware shop. In 2006, the latter was taken over by Bridgehampton’s Loaves and Fishes Cookshop and was thereafter called Loaves and Fishes Cookshop at Viking Culinary Center. That arrangement lasted until February 2009; the cookware shop was then returned to Viking.
Meanwhile, the cooking school maintained a busy schedule, with both hands-on cooking classes (in the Viking-outfitted kitchen) and demo classes in an attractive auditorium.
Gerard Molloy, who ran the cooking school, said that Viking decided to close the culinary center because the lease was up. Once it closes there will no longer be a Viking showroom on Long Island.
Molloy, an accomplished pastry chef who also taught classes, will be missed. For the time being he’ll be teaching pastry at Suffolk Community College in Riverhead and at Monroe College in New Rochelle.
Also to be greatly missed: Charlie Robertson, Long Island’s preeminent knife sharpener, who joined Viking after a long career selling cutlery and stints at Fortunoff’s and Morty the Knife Man. Robertson assures me that he will continue to sharpen any and all knives that are sent to him. He can be reached at 516-978-4773.