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Gourmet cooking class presents skill

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After learning to prepare foods such as sushi and chocolate mousse, students in the Gourmet Foods class plan to showcase their culinary skills. 

Wednesday, the Gourmet Foods class will participate in an event that has been a tradition on campus for more than 15 years. Students will invite adult figures they admire from campus or from the community to take part in a presentation of the student’s skills in the kitchen, Anne VanBeber, Department Chair and Professor of Nutritional Sciences, said. 

“The reception is a way for us to show off our culinary skills and thank a person that has made a difference for us at TCU,”senior strategic communication major Meghan Chamberlin said.

Although the university offered a variety of food-based and nutrition classes, VanBeber said she took a unique approach to this course. 

“This class spends more time discussing plating, food presentation, garnishing as well as preparation. The recipes are harder than basic food courses,” VanBeber said.

The class met for lecture sessions once a week, but also required a weekly lab where students learned a vast array of skills and techniques, VanBeber said. 

“So many kids today don’t know how to cook,” VanBeber said. “And this class can lead to more assurance and confidence in the kitchen. And I want everyone to feel comfortable in the kitchen.” 

The labs included sections on how to cook with herbs, how to create steamed cuisine and how to cook with dry heat, VanBeber said.

Two labs in particular focused on creating full meals in a short amount of time. In one lab, students prepare a 10-minute dish in which fish or vegetables are cooked “en papillote,” meaning in paper. In another, students made a five-minute chocolate mousse cake from scratch. 

“Gourmet doesn’t mean it has to be difficult,” VanBeber said. 

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