Media Contact: Nell Funk, Now We’re Cookin’ 847.570.4140<br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:<br />Culinary ...
Press release: Culinary Science final
of 2

Press release: Culinary Science final

Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Education      Business      

Transcripts - Press release: Culinary Science final

  • 1. Media Contact: Nell Funk, Now We’re Cookin’ 847.570.4140<br />FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:<br />Culinary Science: Eat To Live, Live To Eat<br /> Northwestern University, DePaul Professor, <br />and Now We’re Cookin’ chefs deliver <br />Innovative Summer AP Program<br />Evanston, IL: In a unique academic collaboration, Northwestern University Center for Talent Development’s (CTD) Equinox Program teamed Dr. Sandra Peszek, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at DePaul University, with Culinary Director/Banchet Award-Winning Chef Mary McMahon and her team at Now We’re Cookin’ for a 3 week deep dive into the world of healthy eating. Students were challenged to divide their time between the science of food/nutrition and a hands-on cooking “boot camp”, culminating in a team competition for which they prepared, plated and presented a meal to a panel of judges. <br />CTD’s Equinox program has been providing rigorous academic acceleration opportunities for academically gifted students in grades 9 through 12 for almost 30 years. Culinary Science – 104 – the only such program in the country known to have been designed for High School students - was new in 2011, and attracted 12 totally engaged students from around the world. Their activities ranged from keeping a food diary, deconstructing proteins at the molecular level, visiting a roof-top organic farm, tasting oils and spices from around the world, as well as cooking (from scratch!) everything from veggie burgers with homemade buns, fresh salads with salad dressings of their own creation, to mozzarella cheese and chocolate soufflés. <br />“With the obesity crisis increasing in teenagers, I think it is important that we as educators and culinary experts teach the younger generation that eating healthy foods can be fun, tasty, nutritional, and inexpensive. The science aspect of this course was designed to help students see what really goes into their bodies, what essential nutrients are required and are actually ingested. I wanted to be a part of helping them become aware of what they are eating“ said Dr. Peszek. <br />The kitchen portion of the program was geared to helping the students develop the basic skills needed to prepare simple but healthy meals. Given the limited amount of time the students had in Now We’re Cookin’s kitchens, “their progress – in terms of basic kitchen/cooking skills as well as awareness of how to plan for and prepare healthful, tasty dishes, was extraordinary” commented Chef/Owner Nell Funk. “They were constantly challenging us to let them do more, and be more creative!” The final competition – which featured a cleverly presented Mexican Citrus Salad, Deconstructed Tacos, and Fried Bananas with Cajeta (Goats Milk Caramel) – among other dishes – totally wowed the panel of judges. “We were completely overwhelmed by what they prepared, how artfully they presented the food, and by their ability to describe in detail the health benefits of each dishes’ components” said Cassie Sparkman, Equinox Program Coordinator and judge. <br />Given that over the coming several years, all of these students will head to college, it is hoped that the skills and knowledge they gained in this unique and innovative class will help them avoid the “Freshman Fifteen”, understand the science behind their food, make informed dietary choices, and make better, healthier decisions throughout their life. If – as some expressed an interest in doing – they are actively engaged in helping to educate family, peers and communities on the fundamentals of nutrition and healthful eating – then the program will have been doubly successful! <br />About Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development: The Equinox Summer Program courses provide rigorous academic acceleration opportunities for academically gifted and talented students completing grades 9 through 12. Students may earn honors and Advanced Placement (AP) high school credit while making friends from around the world and enjoying life at a great university. <br />Equinox offers three-week courses in English and writing, humanities, mathematics, science and technology. During each three-week session, students take a single course that meets from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., five days a week. All Equinox courses are taught at the high school honors and AP levels by highly qualified instructors, and each course carries one or two semesters of high school credit upon successful completion.  Equinox students may also participate in the Civic Leadership Institute, an urban service-learning program based in downtown Chicago.<br />About Now We’re Cookin’: Now We’re Cookin’ is the premier culinary center for Chicago and the North Shore suburbs, specializing in interactive cooking classes and corporate / private events. With their professional demonstration studio, Now We’re Cookin’ provides a warm and fun environment for people to learn, promote and celebrate the culinary arts. Led by Culinary Director Chef Mary McMahon, (Jean Banchet winner for best Pastry Chef) the center’s primary focus is to instill the importance of a common sense approach to classic food preparations. The demonstration kitchen hosts a wide range of culinary activities, including promotional video production, new product development and testing, corporate teambuilding, and a wide variety of private parties and events.<br />In addition to culinary education, Now We’re Cookin’ supports culinary entrepreneurship by operating a state-of-the-art shared-use commercial kitchen. Dozens of great start-up food businesses thrive in the collaborative environment with assistance from the experienced staff and their network of professional contacts. <br />About Dr. Sandra Peszek: Dr. Sandra Peszek is currently a visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry at DePaul University, teaching various chemistry-based classes such as general, organic, and analytical chemistry, biochemistry, instrumental analysis, and nutrition, to name a few. Dr. Peszek has taught chemistry since the late 1990’s and continues to enjoy it immensely. She holds a bachelors degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also obtained her doctorate degree and continues with post-doctoral research specializing in Alzheimer’s Disease studies via solid state NMR. <br />

Related Documents