Visiting Chef Series Continues this Spring

There is a full slate of speakers set for Spring 2020 including caterers, restaurateurs, dieticians, butchers, and nutrition coaches. We will take a field trip to CC’s Supper Club and after our tour enjoy some food incorporating etiquette instruction.  Our final speaker will be Darcy Maulsby, Iowa’s Culinary StoryTeller.  Darcy will lead a large group in our 699 seat auditorium in a morning session.

To sum up, we will have serviced and marketed Family Consumer Science careers to almost 200 students in five months of after school programming.  

Thank you for a $3600 grant from the Central DeWitt Community Educational Foundation, Central Skills Trade Endowment Fund by DeWitt Bank & Trust, First Central State Bank School to Work Endowment, and the Warren Waack Endowment for the Visiting Chef Series!!

Thank you to the chefs that shared their experience, time and talents with our students this past fall:

Kyle Veerschorree and Margaret Cleaveland, chefs from Peaceful Palate, a community outreach collection of visions, actions, and solutions

Rory Kennady, Manager of the Your Pie Davenport franchise.  He brought a young high school assistant employed as an assistant manager to share employability skills and lead us in making individual pies, garlic breads, and gelato.  Rory is a special friend of the program and I’m still handing out special coupon cards for pizza and bread as prizes for educational games we play in the classroom.

Alex Stamp, CDHS alumnus and Johnson and Wales, Rhode Island graduate lead us in a session creating  Viennoiserie (croissants, danish, cinnamon rolls, donuts), shared his personal portfolio from his years at JWRI, and talked about his dreams of becoming a pastry chef and owning his own bakery.  Later, Alex returned to create Cheesecake and Custards (creme brûlée, ice cream, creme anglaise) and talk about flexibility and life changes.

Katelyn and Kathy Ketelsen, also CDHS alumni and owners of The Cupcakery in DeWitt came in to talk about baking as a hobby to earn extra income and express creativity.  Katelyn talked about juggling school and work and the challenges of owning a family business.  Students enjoyed baking and decorating variety flavored cupcakes with the frostings they made.

Kendra Smith represented Kirkwood Community College and Cobble Hill restaurant in Cedar Rapids when she came in to talk about the opportunities afforded to her through her formal education at Kirkwood.  She has studied in Italy and because of her performance there was invited back for another session as a James Beard Scholar.  (I had the pleasure of experiencing her talents again on New Year’s Eve at Cobble Hill when I attended an evening 7-course meal this past January).  She is a fantastic young talent at the age of 21.  I can tell you her tiramisu is second to none.

Laura Miers, CDHS alumnus, journalist, former owner of Whisk Away Bakery in DeWitt and my partner colleague in the Fundamentals of Baking course we offer who, in December, came to talk about changing careers, taking advantage of opportunities, and service opportunities for the community when she came to make Rolled Out and Decorated Cookies with the crowd.  It has been good to have Laura as an advocate of the program as she now serves as the school district’s Marketing Coordinator.

And, finally, just this week, we hosted Sandy Matthiesen from Matthiesen’s Deer Processing and Matthiesen’s Catering to share her experiences with catering around Eastern Iowa.  She and her family operate a hugely successful, and delicious business.  We were lucky to secure her as a speaker.  We made fettucine alfredo with chicken, grape salad, stuffed mushrooms and lemon bars.  I am eating a plate of leftover fettucine for dinner as I write this