Student chefs hone their craft with Farm Bureau

Brittnee Rourke, Mia Hackney and Jasmine Miranda may not be household names (yet), but they have brought to life the recipes Our Ohio readers are going to make in their own households in 2020.

The student chefs at Lorain County Community College’s Culinary Arts program pored over hundreds of recipes and made 24 of them “their own” to be featured in this year’s publications.

“They spent a lot of time (in the training kitchen) before their menu development class. (Creating recipes for Our Ohio) is something unique that they might not get the chance to do in other venues,” said Bradley Ball, senior instructor with the program. “We chose Brittnee, Mia and Jasmine for this very special project because it was a unique opportunity to reward some very special students that we have.”

Rourke is from Amherst and is a second year culinary student. She said from a very young age, she has always had a keen interest in food.

“I’ve always had a passion for cooking and everything that comes with it. In this industry, there’s always something new to learn, there’s so much to be discovered, the creativity and technique never ceases to amaze me, and that’s always going to be exciting,” Rourke said. “I think that eating and preparing a meal is an experience. It brings people together, allows people to enjoy one another’s company and creates memories.”

Hackney of North Ridgeville, is a first year student in the program. She grew up loving music, art and food. She originally majored in music performance, but decided the culinary program was a better fit, allowing her to still create and express herself through food.

“Once I graduate from this program, I will either further my education in food science or travel around the world in search of more and more experiences in the kitchen and restaurant industry,” she said.

Culinary Arts students at LCCC work with members of Lorain County Farm Bureau to bring their creations to life ­— from start to finish. Seeing exactly where the food they serve originates is a key component of his young chefs’ experience, according to Chef Adam Schmith, director of the program.

“Our relationship with Farm Bureau gets stronger and stronger every year,” he said, noting the students’ relationships with individual farms, not only to create recipes, but also to plant and harvest produce as well as visiting dairy and livestock farms. “The students are getting hands-on experience that normally isn’t available to them in the classroom.”

The opportunity to work with farmers isn’t lost on any of the student chefs, including Miranda, a third year student, also from North Ridgeville.

“Our Lorain County farmers work so hard to provide us with the ingredients we need early in the morning, multiple days a week and it’s because of their efforts that we are even able to do what we do,” Miranda said. “It’s been incredible getting to witness what goes into growing and harvesting all of this produce. It’s been even better being able to prepare meals with such fresh ingredients and taste the wonderful flavors that can be produced from them.”

Featured Image: Student chefs Jasmine Miranda, Brittnee Rourke and Mia Hackney.

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