Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Guest Chef Teaches Culinary Class

Mike Huffer of Wittenburg University taught the second week of the Culinary Job Training Class at Sugartree Ministries on Tuesday, May 11th.  Mike is Wittenberg's Executive Chef and started with Sodexo approximately three years ago after working at the University of Notre Dame's food service.  He brought a great deal of energy to the class while teaching the ins and outs of recipe quantification, product ID (knowing what a product is and what it should look like when it arrives to the kitchen), and menu planning.  Throughout the class, the students discussed everything from how to plan a menu, how to break down and multiply recipes, to how to delegate the responsibilities when planning a menu and catering an event.

Students practiced recipe quantification -and their math skills- by converting measurements from cups to quarts to gallons and back again.  They also reviewed halving and multiplying recipes, which answered questions such as, "how many cups are needed if you halve this recipe?" or "how many cups are needed to quadruple this recipe?"

Chef Mike Huffer discusses meal planning with students

Chef Mike closed the class by asking the students to plan their own meals.  Each student had to present what they would cook, what they would need to make this meal and what ingredients they usually have on hand vs what ingredients needed from the store.  Additionally, they had to present the order in which they needed to prepare things.  The students explored questions such as, "do you cook the meat or vegetables first?"  "Do you need to marinate something overnight?" They also addressed issues such as, "What will take the most of your preparation time?"  and "How does the recipe/preparation change if you're cooking for 5,000 people vs only your family?"

The Culinary Job Training class will continue through July with a Mystery Basket Final where guest judges will evaluate the students' abilities to improvise a dish with provided ingredients.

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