I was recently invited to hold a cooking class in one of the dorms at the Stanford campus in Palo Alto. I was contacted by one of the RA’s (remember those?). She had noticed that the students who were not on the meal plan were challenged in the kitchen and really didn’t know what to eat or how to prepare something that was quick (so students have ample time to study,) healthy and tasty. Sooo, I am doing a series of cooking classes in the dorms, yes, you heard that right, in the dorms.
Dorm kitchens are small—if you are like me and have long, long forgotten what a dorm kitchen looks like, it’s akin to a kitchen in a studio or small one bedroom apartment. Since time and space where both considerations in planning the class, we limited it to 6 students. We made a mixed green salad with vinaigrette, Chicken Piccata, Brown Rice, Roasted Carrots and Chocolate Mousse. Just simple, tasty food that feeds your soul. Class lasted an hour and 15 minutes, and then we sat down to eat dinner. I emphasized how to properly saute a chicken breast and how to make a classic vinaigrette—these are two fundamental concepts that will carry over into a variety of different recipes.
It was a lot of fun, and I think that the students really enjoyed it. It was interesting to hear all of their questions too, from how to make a pilaf to how long can you marinate chicken for? They were very concerned about fats—specifically good fats, such as omega 3’s and were interested in the proper proportion of carbohydrates, fats, protein and vegetables. It was a lot of fun and I’ll be going back for another class on February 21st.