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Posted on Wed. May. 28, 2014 - 12:46 am EDT

College chef prepares to teach kids

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If you go

What: “Culinary 101” from June 30 to July 2 and “Baking 101” from July 14 to 16; registration for both camps required by June 23

Where: Manchester University, North Manchester

Cost: $135 per camp

Contact: 877-624-8378 or

Fort Wayne — Chris Fogerty is going to take children back to the kitchen basics.

This summer, the executive chef with Chartwells at Manchester University in North Manchester will lead two cooking camps for children ages 10 to 14. They will learn a variety of cooking techniques, as well as kitchen safety, baking techniques and meal budgeting and planning.

“There’s a lot more kids coming into the food service world. There’s parents that work and have kids at home that aren’t old enough to be left at home. Why not have them learn something?” the 42-year-old Fogerty says.

“It’s good to learn basics. First, baking is a whole another world – a whole new ballgame.”

Depending on the number of students who sign up for the camps, Fogerty is ready. He says that on average, the school prepares 1,600 meals a day.

Looking at his computer screen, Fogerty points to the spreadsheet he keeps of the meals served during the past school year.

“The grand total of meals served for the 2013-14 school year: 202,524. That’s only residential,” the North Manchester resident says.

Fogerty says his staff of 39 employees and 29 college students work with all students to accommodate diet restrictions.

“We can accommodate any kind of diet,” he says, showing the cafeteria’s gluten-free area. “We had a girl with a corn allergy. As long as the kids communicate with us, we can work with them.”

Fogerty says this is the first time the cooking and baking program, which was created by his director, Nancy Gjertson, has been offered. He hopes students will be able to cook for themselves after attending the camp. But as a father of three (Ally, 16, Logan, 15, and Baylee, 11), he knows it won’t be without challenges.

“Challengewise, I have teenagers, I know I need to keep their attention. But I don’t see it as being an issue. I love kids. I have 900 at work and three at home,” he says.

Q. What are some of your hobbies?

A. I like to garden. I like to can. I like to, on occasion, build models – cars and airplanes. I love, love, love movies. I just saw “The Monuments Men.” I love drive-ins.

Q. What’s your favorite cookbook?

A. (laughs) My favorite cookbook? OK. I can’t lie, I collect them. (He says, pointing to the 100 to 150 cookbooks lining his office shelves.) I have to go with “Roselyn Cookbook.” I remember Roselyn’s Bakery in Kokomo on 22nd and Meridian streets. I still use these recipes. I love these. If I have something special coming up, I’ll use these recipes.

Q. What’s your favorite cooking utensil?

A. I love my knife. I like my chef knife. I love to collect those, too, but my wife, Michelle, limits my collection for sure.

Q. What’s your favorite food?

A. Pork. I go every winter and help butcher. We go out to Diana Stephan’s farm. It’s a whole weekend. Fresh pork, you can turn it into anything.

Q. Who would you consider as a cooking idol?

A. My favorite chef? I have two. I like Emeril (Lagasse). I like Gordon Ramsay a lot. He’s good and he’s hilarious.

Q. What’s something people would not find in your refrigerator?

A. They would not find any store-bought jelly. I make my own.

Q. What’s your favorite vegetable?

A. Brussels sprouts. People will see this and go “Oh,” but if you fry them in bacon and when they get brown and crispy, top the whole pan with shredded parmesan cheese, turn off the fire, put a lid on it and walk away. Come back in five minutes, and you’ll have the best Brussels sprouts. My kids will eat Brussels sprouts that way.

Moroccan-inspired Almond Crusted Chicken

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4 (4-ounce) chicken breasts

1 cup almonds, crushed

1/2 stick butter

1/2 red onion, julienned

1 to 2-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks

2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Mix together honey, cinnamon and ground ginger. Brush onto one side of the chicken breasts. Dredge the honeyed side of the chicken in the crushed almonds. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt butter over medium heat. When it starts to sizzle and smell nutty, add the onion and fresh ginger. Sauté for 10 to 12 minutes until onions start to caramelize. Add crushed tomatoes and stir until mixture simmers. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Top each chicken breast with 1 to 2 ounces of sauce and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Barley Risotto

6 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1 (16-ounce) box pearl barley

1 carrot, diced small

1 onion, diced small

1 red pepper, diced small

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Bring vegetable broth to a simmer. In a separate saucepan, heat oil and add barley. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes to toast barley. Add vegetables and garlic, sautéing until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. One ladle at a time, start adding simmering broth to the barley mixture, stirring as you add. Continue to stir and occasionally add more broth as it is absorbed. After the final addition, simmer barley until it is soft and creamy. Add butter and cheese, stirring until butter has been completely incorporated. Makes 4 servings.

Pineapple Lettuce Salad with Honey Dressing

1 pineapple

1/2 bag (or 1 head) chopped romaine lettuce

2 cucumbers

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons honey

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs

1/2 teaspoon crushed peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder

1 red pepper, cut julienne for garnish

Clean and cut pineapple into bite-size pieces. Soak lettuce leaves in ice cold water for about 15 minutes. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into 2-centimeter pieces (almost 1 inch). Mix lemon juice, pineapple juice, honey, salt, mixed herbs, crushed peppercorns and white pepper powder. Tear lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces and combine with pineapple and cucumber pieces. Pour the dressing on the salad and toss lightly. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Cook’s Corner is a weekly feature. If you know of someone to be profiled, write to Cook’s Corner, The Journal Gazette, P.O. Box 88, Fort Wayne, IN 46801-88; fax 461-8648 or email

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