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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.