Organic Gardening Students Attend a Cooking Class
Yesterday, the organic gardening and simple food majors were able to taste the fruits of their labor while attending a unique instructional cooking class taught by Chef Richard LaMarita of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and the Culinary Arts. The students had planted and harvested many of the ingredients that were used in the recipes: scallions, Swiss chard, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, oregano, basil, green and purple peppers, and even the special eggs from Usdan’s famous Chickiteers. This cooking class enabled Jackie Jahn’s students to actively learn and participate in the “seed to feed” process of planting, cultivating, harvesting, and cooking food.
The three dishes on the menu—ratatouille with quinoa, corn fritters, sautéed Swiss chard with toasted pine nuts and raisins—were healthy, delicious, and eclectic. Chef Rich discussed each of the dishes cultural origins and nutrition, immersed the students in food preparation and the different cooking techniques used. After all of the dishes were cooked and aesthetically assembled, all the students ate. One big and collective “yum” was over heard outside of the administration building. I think that it is safe to assume that the students stimulated all of their senses and will be eager to try what they learned at home.
Chef Richard LaMarita has taught at the Natural Gourmet Institute for the past 18 years. In addition to studying at the Institute of Culinary Art, Chef Rich has studied nutrition and Ayurveda with acclaimed masters, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Vaidya B. D. Triguna, and has worked with Chef Floyd Cardoz at Tabla Restaurant. Chef Richard has worked in NYC for the last 15 years as a private chef for some of Manhattan’s prominent families. To see Chef Richard LaMarita’s full bio please click here.