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2013 Winter Issue 4 (February 8, 2013)

Cooking 101: Firebellies, Bon Appétit Offer a Gnocci Tutorial

February 13, 2013
By Anna Jarman

Chef Gibson Price began his gnocchi making tutorial by explaining that the goal of gnocchi making is to make “puffy clouds of goodness.”

The tutorial was part of the latest installment of Cooking 101, a collaboration between Bon Appétit and Firebellies that has become a mid-term break tradition.  

“We wanted to make connections between Bon Appétit and students,” said Firebellies president Vayu Maini Rekdal ‘15 of the events origins.  “[Firebellies] approached one of the [Bon Appétit] chefs to see if they would be willing to open up the kitchen to teach students to cook but also to alleviate some misunderstandings about Bon Appétit.”  

Thus, Cooking 101 was born last winter term and has continued each midterm break up until last Monday.  “Bon Appétit chefs design the menus and then they demo it and we get to get our hands dirty and cook it,” said Maini Rekdal.  So far, students have learned to make pizza, stir-fry, sushi, and now gnocchi.  

“It is really exciting to enter a professional kitchen and cook with real stuff,” he continued.  “It is a really unique opportunity.  For a college student or anyone.”

At the demonstration on Monday, students learned to make potato, spinach, and pumpkin gnocchi.  Chef Gibson first demonstrated how to make the gnocchi – cutting up the spinach, mixing it into dough, rolling the dough into long strings and finally cutting it up.  The students learned to make gnocchi “old style.  Without blenders or any equipment like that,” said Maini Rekdal.

Chef Gibson also discussed the origin of the Italian word gnocchi, which means knot.  

“The brief tutorial beforehand was helpful in getting a quick overview of gnocchi basics,” said Bettina Wiesenthal ‘14.  I definitely plan on cooking my own.”

Once the students had prepared their own gnocchi, it was time to eat.  The participants sat down together at a large table and shared a delicious meal.  Everyone received the recipes and a certificate of completion signed by Chef Gibson.

Students thoroughly enjoyed Chef Gibson’s class and the final product.  “It was loads of fun!” said Wiesenthal.  “It actually takes around 4 hours [to make], but even so, it was good enough that it’s surely worth making again!”

Will Schifeling ’15 said the class “had the right balance between fun and educational.    I might go home spring break and prove to my parents that I got at least one thing out of winter term.  I can now make gnocchi.”

Maini Rekdal says Bon Appétit likes the event just as much as students.  “I think Firebellies and Bon Appétit enjoy it equally.  [Bon Appétit] enjoys getting to know students.”

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