April 29, 2010

In the kitchen at the Christian County Cooperative Extension office, Hopkinsville High School seniors worked diligently to prepare samples of brunch recipes for attendees of the Cooking for All Seasons event. The event was hosted by family and consumer sciences agents with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. 

The event gave the students, who are in Betty Adam's culinary arts class, a chance to get personal experience in food preparation and presentation for a group.

"My goal was to give them at least one real-world experience, because those are invaluable learning opportunities," Adams said.

Once their samples were prepared, the students and Adams demonstrated how to make the recipes to an audience comprised of Extension Homemakers and the general public. 

"I want to be a chef, and I figured if I had this experience I'd be more prepared for culinary school," said Victoria Brown, one of the students.

The high school class presentation was just one of several during the daylong, semi-annual event of the Pennyrile Area Extension Homemaker Association. Other presenters included UK Extension Meats Specialist Gregg Rentfrow, who provided grilling tips; Trigg County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Cecilia Hostilo, who talked about tailgating and food safety issues; and Hannah Prewitt, author of "The Lighter Side of Southern Cooking," who served up healthier recipe ideas.

"When we were planning this event, we wanted to talk about things you could do throughout the year, and we decided on a professional cooking show format where the presenters could demonstrate how to make their recipes," said Nancy Kelley, Hopkins County family and consumer sciences extension agent. "Hopefully, the participants got something out of it that they can apply in their own cooking."

While all the presenters focused on a different season and topic, healthier recipe options was a recurring theme throughout the day.

"Nutrition is everywhere you look in the media, so it's something our clients are aware of and concerned about," Kelley said. "All of us in family and consumer sciences keep that in mind in everything we do.  Whether it's offering healthier recipe options or talking about how to reduce fat and salt in your diet, nutrition is always at the forefront."

Pennyrile Master Food Volunteers assisted with the event.