Watch and Learn --Eating Healthy Cooking Demonstrations
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 21, 2007
Eating healthy is all about know-how. That’s why, a few years ago, Dining
Services began offering cooking demonstrations for students to show them just
that. Now, three times a semester students have the chance to sit in on a cooking
class where they can learn to make good food taste great.
Previous menus featured such delectables as nest of spaghetti squash with
asparagus, julienne butternut squash and red pepper; seared tilapia on collard
greens with tomato-basil linguini and tomato sauce; and tornado of beef with
Oh, so much better than a diet of lettuce and yogurt.
“We’ll make just about anything anyone asks,” says Ralph
Coughenour, director of culinary services. “We’ve had demonstrations
in the dorms; for grad students.”
The demonstrations were added to Dining’s repertoire three years ago
as an added value for students as well as a way to educate them on healthful
food preparations and presentations.
“We also wanted to show the students who we are and what we are really
all about and that is high quality service and food,” Coughenour says.
Typically between 25 and 30 students attend the cooking classes. Sometimes
a student will bring a recipe and ask for help in its preparation.
Coughenour takes the time to talk about the ingredients being used in the
demo and where students can buy them. As he prepares each course, he explains
the cooking techniques and how to build what he calls “flavor profiles.” Take
soup, for example.
“There’s a lot more involved in making soup than tossing all of
the ingredients into a pot and simmering it until it is cooked,” he says. “For
example, certain vegetables need to caramelize before they are deglazed and
allowed to sweat.”
In addition to the cooking demonstrations, Dining Services’ Web site
offers nutritional tips such as focusing on all the food groups when deciding
what to eat, eating slowly, paying attention to portion sizes and not skipping
The next cooking demonstration is scheduled for Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Piscataqua
Room, Holloway Common.