Reduced-fee 'Home Chef' course available for students

January 23, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A special, reduced-fee edition of "Home Chef: The Basics" will be offered to Penn State students from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in the Foods Lab (7 Henderson Building). The cost of the course is $40 per student and includes instruction, a recipe manual and a meal.

The noncredit class is an outreach initiative of the College of Health and Human Development. It is taught by chef Kristi Branstetter, an instructor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, along with her assistant Meghan McCracken, and several students in nutritional sciences.

The course begins with a lesson on basic food-preparation, including a segment on knife techniques. Participants are then divided into smaller teams to cook one or more of the dishes for the multi-course meal. The instructors walk around the room, helping the teams as they work. After everyone is finished cooking, they all sit down and eat together, family-style.

"My goal is to provide anyone, no matter their cooking ability, the opportunity to learn culinary methods that will enable them to create satisfying meals in their own homes," said Branstetter, who attended the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Colo., and also studied at the Université du Vin in Provence, France. "My hope is that people will build up the confidence to start experimenting."

Past courses have included dishes such as chicken lyonnaise; French onion soup; mussels provençal; cremini mushroom ravioli with thyme cream sauce; baby greens salad with baked goat cheese rounds, caramelized walnuts and poached fig vinaigrette; apple galette with crème anglaise; and florentine lace cookies.

For more information about the course, go to

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Last Updated January 23, 2014