Culinary Students Go “Beyond the Book” in New Club

Determined to make every second of her JWU education count, Chelsea Weinberg ignored her packed schedule — and started Beyond the Book, a new club dedicated to topics they can’t quite cover in culinary labs.

Chef Cofrades gets ready to show students how to use liquid nitrogen.“We felt like there was so much more to learn that we just didn’t have time for in the classroom,” says Chelsea.

“We want to learn as much as we can here at JWU, where we have the resources.”

Side by Side with Chefs
Those resources include our faculty, for one, says Chelsea. Chef Busch might show them how to make baumkuchen, a German layer cake.

Or chefs DeVault and Cofrades might focus on traditional Mexican cuisine — and the students cook right alongside them, sharing inspiration.

Guest Chefs Share Their Expertise
When they can, the students brings in guest chefs and industry experts. Their latest guest? Alex Talbot, a Pennsylvania-based chef who runs Ideas in Food.

Future chefs hone their stir-frying techniques at a meeting for Beyond the Book, established by students in 2012On a whim, Chelsea sent Alex an email asking if he’d like to talk at JWU.

“Within an hour I got a response saying he would not only love to speak, but that there would also be no speaking fee for us!”

Chem Lab to Kitchen
In his daily experiments with food, Alex uses chemistry to push cooking into unexpected directions.

But he tailored his JWU demo using equipment easily available in the culinary labs, making it easy for students to expand upon his techniques.

Students have also incorporated liquid nitrogen and other science-lab ingredients into their recipes.

What’s Next?
No matter what’s on the agenda, the group sure to be on the lookout for new ways to be creative. As Chelsea puts it, “I hope we all continue to look at food the way Alex does.”

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