Young chefs to cook meal for Rotary
The Fairfield Rotary club will feast on a lunch Friday courtesy of Fairfield High School students.
The students who are preparing the meal are enrolled in Heidi Grunwald’s family and consumer sciences classes such as Foods and Nutrition and Advanced Foods. Grunwald has three classes of Foods and Nutrition and two classes of Advanced Foods. The 21 students in the two Advanced Foods classes are doing most of the preparations, she said.
Considering the menu the students have prepared, there is no way the Rotarians are going to leave the table with anything but a full stomach. The students are going to wrap pork loins in bacon and serve them with cherries, glazed carrots, applesauce and roasted new red potatoes. And that’s not all. Desserts such as Jell-O cups, Oreo balls and pumpkin pie truffles await the guests at the end of the lunch.
High school students have cooked a meal for Rotary nearly every year since 1998, part of a long history of collaboration between the club and the school. The school selects a Rotary Student of the Month and this student attends the monthly meals with the Rotarians.
This is the first meal Grunwald has organized for the Rotary Club, since a medical emergency prevented her from doing it two years ago and a snow day ruined her plans last year. That year, the students still made a meal and gave it to residents at Calu Apartments.
Grunwald lets the students decide what to cook. The students get ideas by looking in cookbooks, and Grunwald gives them tips about what foods would go well together. In years past, the students have prepared biscuits and gravy, lasagna, chili, beef tips, chicken and ribs.
“I think the students like the challenge of cooking something they have not made before,” Grunwald said. “They love to prepare things that are easy but I don’t always allow that in Advanced Foods class. I like them to challenge themselves if they can.”
Due to the impressive size of the meal and the students’ limited class time, Grunwald’s classes began making the food Wednesday, starting with the desserts and crescent rolls. They will spend another two hours cooking the rest of the food Friday morning.
Cooking for Rotary gives the students a taste of what it takes to prepare an entire meal. As the semester progresses, the students learn to cook more and more complicated dishes. In the second quarter of Advanced Foods, the class members work in small groups of two to four people to make a meal for the whole class.
“They have to double recipes, prepare things ahead of time and serve the meal,” Grunwald said. “This helps to show the students what it is like to cook for a larger group.”