More and more people across the
U.S. are beginning to question the
source of their food and inquire about
how it is grown. A group of culinary
students at Secchia Institute for
Culinary Education (SICE) at Grand
Rapids Community College (GRCC),
Grand Rapids, Mich., are among
those promoting awareness and
calling for change.
In September 2008, Jana Deppe
began Tilling to Table (T2T), a
student-led group on campus that
hopes to inspire culinary students to
think about food purveying options
and food distribution systems and
connect with local farmers.
Students have taken on many
initiatives, including starting a
community garden using the
institute’s hydroponic carousel tray
system. The group enlisted the help
of professors and local farmers
to find garden space on campus
and raise funding for seeds,
equipment and plants. First, seeds
are sprouted and the seedlings are
grown in the hydroponics carousel.
From there they are tempered in an
outdoor plastic tunnel to acclimate
them to the local weather. Then,
they are transported to various
spaces on campus.
Secchia Institute for Culinary Education
students connect to their local food system and
demand positive change in their community.
T2T members have also worked
with local farmers and area schools,
catered events and engaged the
community in culinary workshops
that promote the use of local and
fresh seasonal foods. In addition,
Classical recipe continued from page 10
Top seafood with carrot, shallot, zucchini,
squash, broccoli, mushroom, and lemon
and lime slices. Add parsley, thyme and dry
white wine. Fold paper in half lengthwise
to close; roll edges together to seal packet
tightly. Place packet on baking sheet;
bake for approximately 12 minutes until
paper is brown and puffed. Serve at once,
still wrapped in parchment paper. Open
package carefully, as steam will escape.
Spoon sauce américaine over seafood or
serve on the side.
2 oz. olive oil
1 lobster shell, cut into 4-5 large pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 small shallots
½ bay leaf
1 sprig tarragon
1 garlic clove
½ cup dry white wine
½ t. sugar
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 oz. brandy
3 oz. finely chopped tomato
3 oz. heavy cream
1½ T. whole butter
Method: Put olive oil and lobster shell in
saucepan; bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Add shallots,
bay leaf, tarragon, garlic, white wine, sugar,
cayenne pepper, brandy and tomato;
simmer additional 10 minutes. Remove pan
from heat. Remove shell and bay leaf. Add
cream; bring to a simmer. Remove from
heat; gradually whisk in butter. Reserve.
they began a composting
program this semester to
accompany the recycling
program that began two
“Tilling to Table
the disconnect between
talk and action,” says Randy
Sahajdack, SICE program director.
“They have quickly gained committed
membership and are one of the most
active groups on and off campus.
They mean what they say and, better
yet, they do what they say.”
“Working in the T2T gardens gives
me such a sense of purpose. I feel
ownership of what we are doing,”
says T2T member Tim Fritsch.
Tilling to Table members Jana Deppe, left,
and Danielle Chilvere tend a rooftop garden
at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.
As far as the future, T2T hopes
to expand both within the walls of
SICE and outside.
Want to become an active
participant in your local
sustainable food system?
Why not start a community
garden or Tilling to
Table student chapter
on your campus? For
more information, e-mail
Modern recipe continued from page 10
15. To Plate: Cut mahi mahi banana pouch
in half; place on one half of plate, leaving
banana leaf on fish for added presentation.
Place 1½ oz. Spicy Mango Sauce on plate.
Open shrimp pouch; place shrimp on
sauce. Fan out al dente vegetables. Garnish
with lemon and lime slices; sprinkle with
parsley. Place coconut shell with additional
Spicy Mango Sauce on side, if desired.
Chef’s Tips: I cook these two dishes
separately because the time it takes to cook
the mahi mahi and shrimp are different.
Also, the banana leaves are extremely
perishable, so make sure you use bright
green leaves that are free of blemishes.
Spicy Mango Sauce
1 ripe mango, peeled, seeds removed
4-5 drops sesame seed oil
1 t. lime juice
1 T. sugar
2 oz. coconut water (coconut juice) from
cracked coconut. Save shell for serving
spicy mango sauce
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ garlic clove, chopped
½ t. chopped cilantro
1 t. chopped roasted red pepper
3 thin mango slices, for garnish
1 vanilla bean, for garnish
1 sprig fresh cilantro, for garnish
Method: Put mango, sesame seed oil, lime
juice, sugar, coconut water, cayenne pepper
and garlic in saucepan. Bring to a simmer;
cook about 10 minutes. With electric hand
mixer, mix until smooth. Garnish sauce with
fine-chopped cilantro and brunoise roasted
red pepper; simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve
sauce on plate or in coconut shell half. Garnish
with mango, vanilla bean and cilantro.
Chef’s Tip: During preparation, taste sauce to
measure flavor profiles until you achieve the
sweet/tart taste you desire.