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Education

Friday, February 7, 2014

Jenifer Mendez and Kimberly K. Sanchez display their winning dish. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TATUM WAN
  • photo courtesy of Tatum Wan
  • Jenifer Mendez and Kimberly K. Sanchez display their winning dish.
Remember cafeteria cheeseburger pizza squares glazed with orange cheese? School lunch can be a very bad thing. But with actual students on the case, that might change.

A team of Manual Arts High School students just won LAUSD's Cooking Up Change Competition, a contest challenging high school culinary students to craft healthful, economical school lunch menus. A team from Manual Arts beat out eight student teams from Carson High School, Dorsey High School, West Adams Preparatory and other area schools. The winning plate? BBQ Chicken Pizza, Spicy Bean Dip and something called a "Tropical C Burst."

The winners - Jenifer Mendez and Kimberly K. Sanchez - shared their recipes a few days ago on KCAL9. They'll receive a free trip to D.C. to participate in the national competition set to go down June 4. There, Mendez and Sanchez will compete against teams from other cities, including Chicago and Houston.

Even if they can't conquer a nation of teenage cooks, Mendez and Sanchez will enjoy bragging rights and the satisfaction of knowing their concoctions have made it onto LAUSD's 2014-15 menu.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

le_cordon_bleu.jpg
It's been a long road in the dispute between the parent companies of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and the students who filed a class-action suit against the culinary school, alleging fraud. According to the claim, LCB used inflated job statistics to mislead prospective students into thinking they would secure jobs after graduation. Nearly three years later, after we reported about the lawsuit, the first lawsuit against the school settled out-of-court through arbitration.

According to Michael Louis Kelly, a senior partner at Kirtland & Packard LLP, the firm that's representing the students, former student Anna Berkowitz and her father, Martin Berkowitz, were awarded $217,000 in their claim against the California School of Culinary Arts (the former name of Le Cordon Bleu) and its Illinois-based parent company, Career Education Corporation.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Foods class at Hoover High School in Glendale - SUSAN JI-YOUNG PARK
  • Susan Ji-Young Park
  • Foods class at Hoover High School in Glendale
Thirty years ago, when I was attending junior high school at Gaspar de Portola magnet in the West San Fernando Valley, home economics was still a class designed to teach girls how to be good housewives. Most of my teachers and peers abhorred the very existence of the class as a throwback to the 1950s, an era they saw as one of domestic servitude for women. To compound matters, the potluck-style recipes, torn straight out of Good Housekeeping, were losing resonance with LAUSD's changing demographic population.

Flash forward to 2013. Dawn Roznowski's foods classes at Hoover High School in Glendale are an even mix of girls and boys. Roznowski has a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from Cal Poly Pomona and a certificate from the California Culinary Academy. She started working in restaurants at the age of 14; students call her chef. She's a far cry from the Church Lady-esque figures we vaguely recall from our teen years -- and her multifaceted experience is reflected in the curriculum and her adaptive teaching style.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Education

Martha Stewart's Cooking School -- Did It Close?

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Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA
  • Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

See also: Martha Stewart's Cooking School archives

Perhaps you noticed Squid Ink was covering Martha Stewart's Cooking School on PBS -- watching her program each weekend and employing her expertise in our own kitchens, learning to make salad dressings and emulsions, stocks, and getting terrorized by the occasional chicken.

And perhaps you noticed that coverage abruptly stopped. And perhaps you were sad. Maybe you even called us all the way from Marietta, Ohio, to express your dismay at the impromptu hiatus. (That really happened! Hi Bruce!)

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Education

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 7, Dressings and Emulsions

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Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Shallot and balsamic vinaigrette - A. TRACHTA
  • A. Trachta
  • Shallot and balsamic vinaigrette
See also: The Martha Stewart Cooking School archives.

Unlike, say, the stocks episode, we're not sure this dressings and emulsions episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School is going to save you any money. What you'd spend on really good grapeseed oil or high quality Dijon mustard for use in homemade dressings is likely going to come out to more than what you'd spend for a bottle of Wishbone. But the product you'll end up with will be infinitely better, of course. And despite Martha's constant and sometimes false claims that all her recipes are easy, these truly are. (Even the mayonnaise.) Which gives us no reason not to at least give them a shot. Yes, even during this busy Thanksgiving week when the kitchen's already crowded with stress.

Martha explains, for anyone who may not know, that an emulsion is simply a mixture in which acid is suspended in oil, with the ratio tending towards three parts oil and one part acid. That formula was applied to the vinaigrette, creamy dressing, mayonnaise and aioli that made up Martha's lesson.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

The 24th Street Elementary School garden. - COURTESY GARDEN SCHOOL FOUNDATION
  • Courtesy Garden School Foundation
  • The 24th Street Elementary School garden.
A quest to win over the hearts, minds and palates of young Angelenos? Maybe so. In collaboration with the Garden School Foundation and its new Kickstarter campaign to publish a guide to garden-based learning, chef Michael Voltaggio (ink., ink.sack.) will pitch in at the GSF's next community workday at the 24th Street Elementary School tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 17.

Voltaggio will be on hand from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a cooking demo using produce grown in the school's stunning garden, which in no small part derives its own character thanks to the consistent hum of the 10 freeway a few feet away and downtown L.A. clearly visible a few miles to the east. This one acre-plus plot is a study in contrasts and how cultivated dirt beats acres of blacktop concrete schoolyard jungle; in other words, it's a model of a needed refuge in the heart of the city that also functions as a living classroom.

And as for the kids? They love it, naturally.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Education

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 6, Rice

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Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Rice pilaf, Martha Stewart style - A. TRACHTA
  • A. Trachta
  • Rice pilaf, Martha Stewart style
See also: The Martha Stewart Cooking School archives.

Rice can be an unsung hero at times -- taken for granted, treated as merely a bed on which to lay more interesting food, or as filler, say, in a burrito. It's an everyday item, thus we often forget to appreciate the many roles it can play in our kitchens.

But Martha Stewart, in her infinite wisdom, reminded us of rice's greatness in this weekend's episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School, showing not just how many varieties there are to choose from, but explaining how to best use each one.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Whole chicken from Lindy & Grundy - A. TRACHTA
  • A. Trachta
  • Whole chicken from Lindy & Grundy
See also: The Martha Stewart Cooking School archives.

It's time for a confession: I have never butchered a chicken. Why? Well, mostly because raw chicken gives me the willies. I like chicken, I eat it all the time, and I don't get that same skin-crawly feeling around raw beef or pork, but raw chicken is something I've just never really been fond of handling. (Side note: I often find when I admit this to people that I'm not alone. Raise your hand if you share my irrational fears!) So anyway, in the past, when I've needed my chicken in pieces (as opposed to a whole roaster) typically I buy it that way. Shameful, I know.

Therefore, this butchering-themed episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School was the one I was dreading the most, on one hand, but on the other, I knew it was the kick in the pants I needed to finally buck up and, well, cut up.

And I was so full of confidence until ... the feet. But more on that later. First, a lesson from Martha.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cookbooks

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 4, Stocks

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Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Vegetable stock, simmering - A. TRACHTA
  • A. Trachta
  • Vegetable stock, simmering
Squid Ink is going back to basics with Martha Stewart's Cooking School, airing every weekend through the end of the year on PBS. Join us.

See also: Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 1, Eggs

See also: Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 2, Sauces

See also: Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Episode 3, Vegetables

You've heard this claim time and again, from Mark Bittman, Michael Ruhlman, nearly every Food Network personality and certainly from Martha Stewart: Homemade stock is better than anything you could pour out of a carton or can. And you've never doubted it. But that doesn't necessarily mean you've taken the time to make it.

The hours it takes isn't really the problem -- slow cooking is the easy part. What's hard is being an organized enough person not to discard the scraps that you could later turn into stock when cooking other meals. That's an art, and probably the biggest lesson we learned from this episode of Martha Stewart's Cooking School: to be ever-stingy with ends of squashes and carrots, beef bones, chicken backs and the like. Keeping and freezing those bits until you're ready to use them is what makes the stock-making process truly economical.

First, turn the page to see recipes for chicken, beef and vegetable stocks, courtesy of the Martha Stewart team.

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