Braised short ribs, chocolate ganache, and grilled pork chops, yummy dishes made not by world renowned chefs, but students at the Institute of Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.
Students showcase some of their talents in a new cookbook that was created in memory of Brandon Thomas, a culinary arts student who died last year in an accident while leaving school.
“The students have been amazing,” says culinary arts instructor Joellen Zuk.
“They enrolled in this class, paid money, so they could be part of this experience and memory of Brandon.”
The cookbook is called “Season With Sage”. It features 16 different recipes, four for each season with all the proceeds going to a scholarship in Brandon's memory.
Seven students worked 11 weeks to come up with the fine dining recipes. They tested them and other students at the college helped with marketing and distribution.
“It brought back a lot of memories about him for a lot of people,” says Oystein Solberg, another one of Brandon’s instructors.
“They really started connecting their memories of Brandon into the book and it was very, very nice.”
Even students who didn't know Brandon felt touched by his story. Abi Smith volunteered to take all the photographs in the book.
“There were a few days where I had him on my mind, thinking about him and what the overall project meant for him and his family,” says Smith.
Classmates say Brandon was born to cook and one of his favorite dishes to cook with family was a turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck, which is then stuffed into a turkey. In his honor they made a turducken roulade as one of the recipes.
Classmates say Brandon was friendly with everyone and while he shared his joy for cooking, they say he taught them something too.
“He taught us so many things,” says Zuk. “He was an amazing young man.”
The cookbook "Season with Sage" is $25 and is being sold locally at several stores-listed below. All the proceeds go to a scholarship fund for culinary arts students at the institute.
Sage Student Bistro on the MCC Fort Omaha Campus
Category One Gifts & Gourmet
Blue Sushi Grill Old Market
Lo Sole Mio Italian Restaurant
Slattery Vintage Estates
You can also go to MCC Website