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Tech Offering New Class To Improve Students’ At-Home Cooking

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Offering New Class To Improve Students’ At-Home Cooking

Tennessee Tech Dining Services offering a free monthly program teaching students how to cook a variety of different meals.

Marketing Manager Taylor Petty said the Teaching Kitchen program is designed to help students who have little to no cooking experience. He said each month they teach students how to make a meal with a different “feel-good food” and discuss its health benefits.

“We think you should be able to feed yourself just as much as we feed you,” Petty said. “And so to do that you need the techniques and the skill and the knowledge, and that’s what we have. And we want to provide everything we can, aside from just food, we want to give you the knowledge to be able to take back to your homes and to your dorms so you can actually cook for yourself as well.”

Petty said the foods that will be featured this semester include oats, omega-3s, mushrooms, and leafy greens. He said the classes encourage students to explore lots of ways to use each ingredient outside of the one recipe taught that night.

“Even if that’s just asking questions as to how you can incorporate mushrooms into your daily life or what other dishes can you highlight mushrooms in or what other dishes could you swap a protein out and substitute it with mushrooms to make it a vegan dish,” Petty said. “So like, we teach how to make one meal – one course, but that doesn’t – that doesn’t limit you on the possibilities of what our chefs can provide you knowledge-wise.”

He said the program is normally taught by the dining program’s Head Chef, Audrey Patterson, or Sous Chef Jak Keebaugh.

“Audrey’s actually a new head chef, so that’s why we have her in front of the students,” Petty said. “So that they have a face to know who their food comes from.”

He said the themes from the last semester were focused on chickpeas, squash, seeds, and how to properly plate a dish.

“You can learn how to cook things and the techniques to do them, but people don’t really teach on how to plate stuff in a beautiful fashion,” Petty said.


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