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SCC welcomes high schoolers for a taste of culinary arts | Local News

NORTH MANKATO — High school students raced with chopsticks, created frosting rosettes, cut birds out of apples and made art with sauces Thursday at South Central College.

Students from Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School were the latest guests of the college’s culinary arts program.

The college works with the South Central Service Cooperative to invite high school students to get a taste of the culinary arts. A few times a year for several years, instructors Lizbeth Kliewer and Michael Broughten said they have welcomed in high school students in culinary, family and consumer science, and career exploration classes.

SCC students lead activities aimed at giving their younger guests a hands-on sampling of the career field and the education and skills they’d need.

Transforming an apple into a bird was the favorite experience of several of the LCWM visitors, who are doing career exploration.

“It gets you thinking a lot,” said junior Lucy Richards. “You have to be very careful and precise with everything.

Before the high schoolers tried making their own birds, SCC students demonstrated knife skills and reviewed other foods that can be carved into works of art.

Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School student Alayna Mann practices plate painting with sauces Thursday at South Central College.

Students also got to exercise their creative sides as they learned about “plating.” SCC students explained the presentation of food on a plate is as important as its tastiness.

“People eat with their eyes before they eat with their mouth,” said SCC student Tori Gardeski.

Following the demonstrations of plating techniques and tools, they got to try plating a dessert plate with fruit and custard sauces.

After making a rainbow on one plate and using a toothpick to make a zigzag pattern on another, junior Dani Freyberg said she was surprised to learn how much presentation influences restaurant prices.

“You can charge $10 more,” she said.

Junior Bella Stark said the most surprising thing she learned during her visit to SCC was that there are rules of etiquette when eating with chopsticks. After students practiced their chopstick dexterity by racing to move food from one bowl to another, SCC students gave a stir-fry cooking lesson.

“The only thing you can’t do in it is smoke something,” SCC student Mitchell Ledebuhr said as he and classmate Makenna Soderberg talked about the versatility of a wok.

As their guests sampled the stir fry, the SCC student teachers talked about what they’re learning in classes and their career plans.

“Cooking can be used in so much more than just in a restaurant,” Soderberg said after mentioning she might like to use her cooking skills to help feed missionaries.

In SCC’s bakery kitchen, the visiting students also got to learn and practice cake and cupcake frosting techniques. The cupcakes became dessert, capping the visit for the lunch made by SCC students.

Kliewer said the high school visits benefit both groups of students. The high school guests get an exposure to the culinary arts field and SCC’s program. And her students get some leadership experience while sharing a sampling of what they are learning, she said.