“Life After Lackmann” Aims to Keep New Graduates Fed, Full, and Energized
Ingredients: three hungry students, one tall chef, a number of recipes, and an ounce of time. In January of 2012, a group of St. John Fisher College students charged with developing a Resident Assistant (RA) program approached the College’s food service provider, Lackmann Culinary Services, with an idea.
The students – Chelsea Spain and Dusty Baker – were new to the RA position, and were matched with an RA mentor, Aaron Spacher. Spain cooked up the idea of offering the cooking classes to graduating seniors who needed to learn how to cook healthy meals for themselves, and the program became known as “Life After Lackmann.”
According to Spacher, the classes have been one of the more popular RA programs, attracting about 20 students to each session with an apron and an empty stomach. Past menus have included Mexican cuisine, gourmet burgers, and breakfast.
“After going home for multiple summers and having to cook on our own, we realized we needed some help cooking if we ever wanted to have a dish other than ramen noodles,” said Spacher.
This past weekend, the students organized the last “Life After Lackmann” class, which took on an outdoor-grilling theme. Lackmann’s Executive Chef Joel Kraft worked with the students to create a summer-themed menu, which included: BBQ cedar smoked salmon, baby back grilled ribs, kabobs (chicken, steak tips, vegetables), shrimp fajitas (lime juice, cilantro, guacamole, salsa), and grilled pineapple.
“Chef Joel continues to be an amazing resource to the students here. He brought a great personality and sense of humor to every ‘Life After Lackmann’ program,” said Spacher. “He worked hard to make a personal connection with each student that attended, and students said they felt much more comfortable with their cooking abilities after spending only a short time with him.”
To the students’ surprise, Lackmann also presented them with a $500.00 donation for the charities of their choice. Spain and Spacher have chosen to divide the donation between Camp Good Days and Special Times and Four Legged Friends.
Chef Joel Kraft talks technique with the students.
Kraft with Aaron Spacher and Chelsea Spain, after a successful, and delicious, event.
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