Can you tell the difference between parsley and cilantro? Unless you’ve worked with these specific herbs, you may not know how to tell the difference.
In order to advance the knowledge and skills of the young people in our Food Services social enterprises, UTEC launched its first ever Advanced Culinary Class, and the early reviews are thumbs up. “Our young people work hard here,” said Kodi Semon, UTEC’s Senior Program Manager, “whether it’s preparing food for Café UTEC or our fast growing catering business. They don’t always get to acquire a deeper knowledge around various foods and spices, advanced food preparation techniques, and more complicated recipes. All of these areas are important for anyone intending to work in the field, and that’s why we collaborated with our Education team to offer this weekly class.”
The Advanced Culinary Class, like most UTEC offerings, is designed for young people with diverse learning styles. As Kodi explained, “Our curriculum is designed around group learning with a real focus on a fun, interactive, and hands-on approach right here in the kitchen with our highly knowledgeable staff. By way of example, one can try to tell the difference between parsley and cilantro by looking at photos and reading a description, but it’s so much more effective when you can smell these herbs, feel them, and even taste them.”
One of the early classes involved a series of creative exercises to help students identify different, lesser-known vegetables and herbs and spices. (“So that’s what a zucchini tastes like! Hey, I kind of like it.”) Another focused on identifying the five essential tastes – of bitter, salty, sour, sweet, and umami – with a lot of hands-on tasting, grimacing, and belly laughs.
UTEC is committed to involving young adults in program planning, and this is definitely true for plans for future classes. Upcoming topics include: different states of food (raw vs. cooked, roasted or poached vs. fried, etc.); healthy grocery shopping on a budget (in partnership with our friends at Cooking Matters); advanced kitchen safety and sanitation; equipment identification; industry standard knife work; and nutrition.
In brief, UTEC’s new Advanced Culinary Class is off to a great start and will continue to offer up a rich menu of engaging topics in the coming months.
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Source: Lowell Sun