THE EUREKA SPRINGS TIMES-ECHO

(now the Carroll County News)



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Clear Spring students learn hands-on French cooking from chef

THE EUREKA SPRINGS TIMES-ECHO, Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

“When I heard we were going to make something called ‘Green Tart' with spinach in it I said ‘euuw,' I don't want to eat that,” confessed high school student Luke Divers, “but when I tasted it, I said ‘Wow!' I'm definitely making more of this.”

Luke was one of several students from Clear Spring High School in Eureka springs who elected to take a short course on the basics of French country cooking in the kitchen of caterer Karen Gros.

The three-week course included cooking hints, the use of spices, chef's secrets, how to stock a kitchen with the right equipment, and how to put together and prepare a great meal.

The buzz is that some of that great food might be served at the high school in the near future. “We cooked some really cool stuff,” reported freshman Lauren Coy, “and there were a lot of surprising things. We made everything from scratch. I didn't know you could eat food that was so healthy and still have it be a really great, delicious meal. I thought French cooking would be hard but now I'm confident that I can do it.”

Other students went Italian and spent a day at Giraldi's Restaurant where they learned how to toss a mean pizza. But making a great slice wasn't the only thing on the menu.

Manager Peter Kirton gave a course on how to start and maintain a small business without going broke. Students learned everything from making a business plan to take to the bank when applying for a loan to keeping up with codes and how to keep a restaurant clean.

Both off-campus courses were part of Clear Springs School 's “Hands-On” learning program.

“There's always a need for people knowledgeable in the restaurant business, especially in our community,” said collage counselor Phyllis Johnson, “and this gives our students some real-life exposure to what's out there.”