2012-02-23 / Education

Class enriched by gourmet meal

Text and photos by Thomas Reznich


CONSIDERING THE CUSTARD (Clockwise from lower left) Chef J.R. Lorenz gives sixth grade chefs Dominique Nagel and Kaleigh Vollmers tips on custard making before sliding the dessert in progress back into the oven. Lorenz said that he planned to use caramel sauce rather than flame to complete his crème brûlée for the sake of student safety. CONSIDERING THE CUSTARD (Clockwise from lower left) Chef J.R. Lorenz gives sixth grade chefs Dominique Nagel and Kaleigh Vollmers tips on custard making before sliding the dessert in progress back into the oven. Lorenz said that he planned to use caramel sauce rather than flame to complete his crème brûlée for the sake of student safety. Gourmet cuisine provides enrichment to life in general, and for 10 Houghton Lake Middle School students, the experience of creating a gourmet meal was the focus of one of their Enrichment Days classes.

The class, entitled “Seven Course Gourmet Dinner,” was taught by J.R. Lorenz, co-owner and chef at The Firehouse Restaurant and Lounge in St. Helen, assisted by English Teacher Tara Schell. It took two three-hour sessions to prepare the seven course dinner in the hospitality/ commercial foods classroom at Houghton Lake High School Thursday and Friday.


CHECKING THE CHICKEN Student chefs (left to right) Derrick Vo, Dominique Nagel and Kaleigh Vollmers check the temperature of two chickens under the direction of Chef J.R. Lorenz during a class entitled “Seven Course Gourmet Dinner” Friday morning. The stuffed and roasted birds were the main course of the dinner for the class and their guests. CHECKING THE CHICKEN Student chefs (left to right) Derrick Vo, Dominique Nagel and Kaleigh Vollmers check the temperature of two chickens under the direction of Chef J.R. Lorenz during a class entitled “Seven Course Gourmet Dinner” Friday morning. The stuffed and roasted birds were the main course of the dinner for the class and their guests. The menu included stuffed mushrooms, southwestern chicken wraps and stuffed wontons as appetizers, an apple-walnut spring salad with vinaigrette dressing and potato soup. For the main course, the students made stuffed roasted chicken with asparagus and roasted red skins and dessert was crème brûlée.

At lunch time on Friday, the students shared their meal with guests including Houghton Lake High School Principal Brent Cryderman, HLHS Assistant Principal Sue Milner and Houghton Lake Middle School Principal Susan Tyer.



EASY DOES IT Sixth grader Hunter MacKinnon learns the fine art of deep frying from English Teacher Tara Schell as they prepare stuffed wontons together. The wontons were one of three appetizers being served, which also included stuffed mushrooms and southwestern chicken wraps. EASY DOES IT Sixth grader Hunter MacKinnon learns the fine art of deep frying from English Teacher Tara Schell as they prepare stuffed wontons together. The wontons were one of three appetizers being served, which also included stuffed mushrooms and southwestern chicken wraps.

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