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Local culinary students to teach public how to make holiday treats
Events include classes for adults and kids
Guadalupe Galvan, left, and Karina Martinez work on sugar cookies in the Lanier Charter Career Academy culinary school kitchen Thursday. - photo by Tom Reed

Public Culinary Classes at Lanier Charter Career Academy

Holiday Hors D'oeuvres

For adults
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Register: Dara Lavallee,
Cost: $40, includes supplies

Kids in the Kitchen: Halloween Treats

For kids ages 6 to 10
When: Oct. 21, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Register: Terry Haymond,
Cost: $20, includes Halloween treat, culinary class, T-shirt and hayride ticket

A Nightmare on Oak Street

When: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., haunted trail opens at 7 p.m.
Where: Lanier Charter Career Academy, 2719 Tumbling Creek Road in Gainesville
More Information: Free games and activities, a hayride, outdoor movie, haunted trail, bonfire and much more
Cost: $3 hayride, $7 Psychopath haunted trail for those ages 10 and up

Culinary arts students at Lanier Charter Career Academy will have different roles over the next two weeks.

Instead of learning how to cook, they'll be teaching the public how to make tasty Halloween and winter holiday treats.

"We just wanted to get involved with the community," said Dara Lavallee, executive chef for the academy's Bistro at the Oaks. "We've had lots of requests for classes."

Adults in the Holiday Hors D'oeuvres will get to try their hands at recipes including baby new potatoes with brie, artichoke bruschetta with bacon and Parmesan, and roast beef roulades with arugula and horseradish cream.

"I want them to learn how easy it is to come up with ideas for things. I'm going to show them an hors d'oeuvre and say, ‘If you don't want to do this, you can do this to it,'" Lavallee said. "I want to show them they can make things and throw a party by themselves."

Three of the recipes she and her students will be teaching are ones served at Bistro catering events. The others were created to showcase different cooking and garnishing techniques for fall and winter holidays.

"I'm going to show them how to turn an apricot into a pumpkin, different decorations for petit fours ... how to work with store-bought puff pastry. They're going to learn how to make bruschetta, which you can put any topping on and it's delicious," Lavallee said.

Another key element of the Holiday Hors D'oeuvres class is making the appetizers look appetizing.

"I'm really big on making things look pretty," Lavallee said.

Participants will be creating cheese molds and roses carved from tomatoes as well as the food to give the plates aesthetic appeal.

The Halloween-themed class has more of a dessert focus, with kids learning to make and decorate cookies and pumpkin muffins. They might also be playing with fondant.

"We're going to help them decorate cookies and just show them a cooking demonstration," said Yury Zepeda, 16, a sophomore culinary arts student. "I like to work with kids, and baking is one of my favorite things to do. This is a good mix."

Zepeda said Terry Haymond's introductory class already made cookie dough and worked on perfecting the activities they'll be teaching at the event.

And after cooking, participants and the rest of the community are invited to the visit the Psychopath, hayride and other games academy students designed for their fall festival, A Nightmare on Oak Street.

"We're all going to be dressed up and doing fun stuff. I'm excited about it all," said Taylor Teague, 17, a senior culinary arts student in Lavallee's class.

Teague isn't able to participate in the classes, but her mother and grandmother are.

"We've done hors d'oeuvres before (in class) and I like learning how to make them," she said.

Teague does a lot of the cooking at home and at friends' houses thanks to her work at the academy, as do many of the students in the culinary arts program.

Lavallee has six students teaching her class and Haymond's class will be taught by some of his students who are also in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club.

"That's the whole part of this, is for the kids to teach," Lavallee said. "The ones who are volunteering are so excited about it."

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