Nine students shuffled into the kitchen in the few minutes leading up to 6 o’clock—the time when the cooking class began. The kitchen, located in the building 45 Wrexham, is where the SLC Fresh chefs of the AVI Foodsystems company have been teaching informal cooking classes to Sarah Lawrence students for the past two years.
On November 30th, pastry chef Cassandra Moretti taught her first class: a “Winter Desserts” baking class. Also present was executive chef, Jordan Luchini, who has, on the other hand, taught a number of classes, among them pastry and bread-making.
“Usually, every semester we wind up doing two or three classes, just something to show you all some different things,” Luchini said. “This, I think, is about the third pastry class that’s been done.”
In introducing Moretti to the class Luchini said, “Cassandra is our pastry chef on campus, so basically any dessert that you get from catering, anything at Bates, she makes." After he noted that it would be her first time teaching a a class. A campus security officer, who was in the kitchen on a brief break from her patrol, playfully observed the novice teacher’s demeanor: “She’s nervous!”
Even if true, after Luchini's introduction Moretti proceeded to demonstrate each of the recipes. In conjunction with Moretti’s verbal instructions, printed and laminated versions of each recipe—Vegan Shortbread, Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie, and Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing—sat on the table in front of the students.
Moretti guided the students through the preparation of each dessert, narrating the steps as she went along, and then passed out the finished doughs for the students to touch and examine. Luchini assisted in the steps and occasionally interjected with further advice for the cooking class attendees.
In true cooking-show-fashion, the SLC Fresh pair had pre-baked each dessert they demonstrated. Each student was given a slice of pie as well as a few shortbread and gingerbread cookies to decorate. One of Luchini’s tips was a lesson in making parchment pastry cones to be used in lieu of piping bags. Cooking class attendee Sarah Sargent (‘17) had a particular desire to master the parchment pastry cone and worked with Luchini to do so.
“This is my third or fourth time [here],” Sargent, who was the first to arrive to the class, said. “It’s really fun.”
Victoria Mycue ‘20