French chef teach DMACC students secrets of haute cuisine

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French Chefs Didier Lassaigne, left, and Jean-Cristophe Martin, right, remove crab meat from the shell as Fabian Gauthier watches during a demonstration attended by DMACC Iowa Culinary Institute students on the DMACC Ankeny campus. Photo courtesy DMACC

Every January, two chefs from the St. Etienne region of France come to the Ankeny Campus of DMACC as part of the annual French chefs exchange.

Because 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the exchange program, a group of 20 French chefs from Les Cuisiniers de la Loire, along with their spouses, are spending two weeks in Iowa this year, teaching French cuisine to the DMACC culinary students.

Des Moines is a Sister City to St. Etienne. As part of the exchange program, a group of eight Iowa Culinary Institute (ICI) students will travel to France in May to tour Michelin-starred restaurants and wineries for two weeks and then serve two-week internships in the kitchens of the French chefs.

At a recent demonstration, five French chefs showed the students how to prepare the food that will be served at the gourmet dinners. The DMACC Culinary students will help prepare three gourmet dinners under the tutelage of the world renowned French chefs.

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