Perry DMACC culinary arts student works with French chefs

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DMACC Iowa Culinary Institute (ICI) second-year student Zoe Rene Gordon, right, of Perry pours water into a bowl as French Chef Frederic Stalport watches in preparation of an upcoming French gourmet dinner. Photo courtesy DMACC

Zoe Rene Gordon of Perry, a second-year student in the DMACC Iowa Culinary Institute (ICI) program, is among a number of chefs-in-training learning French cuisine at the hands of the masters.

For 35 years, two chefs from the St. Etienne region of France have come to the DMACC Ankeny Campus every January as part of the annual DMACC Iowa Culinary Institute (ICI) French chefs exchange.

Since 2020 this marks the 35th anniversary of the exchange, 20 French chefs from Les Cuisiniers de la Loire, along with their spouses, are spending two weeks in Iowa, 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 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.

The DMACC Culinary students will also help prepare three gourmet dinners under the tutelage of the world-renowned French chefs.

Dan Ivis is the media liaison at the Des Moines Area Community College.

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