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January 17, 2013-Glenholme News

Chef Barbara Lynch Inspires Students

 
On Wednesday, November 14, Glenholme culinary aficionados enjoyed a special treat – a private demonstration and hands-on lesson with Chef Barbara Lynch of Barbara Lynch Gruppo (formerly No. 9 Group). Chef Barbara came to campus at the urging of Glenholme Class of 2011 alum and former Glen Ridge student, Sam Livingston – who recently dined at one of her culinary concepts in Boston.
Chef Barbara Lynch, a self-taught culinary sensation who started cooking in a high school Home Economics class, later worked her way through the restaurant ranks, and ultimately opened her first restaurant, No. 9 Park, in 1998 – which was promptly named one of the 25 best new restaurants in America by Bon Appétit. It’s now 2012 and Chef Barbara is operating eight culinary concepts throughout the Boston area – each offering a distinctly unique experience for diners. Her vast experience, incredible knowledge and easy-going demeanor captivated the students as she demonstrated how to make Ricotta Gnudi and a fresh tomato sauce.

As the simmering sauce quickly filled the room with an enticing aroma of tomatoes, garlic and basil, Chef Barbara moved through the demonstration and conversation with incredible ease. She discussed each step with great detail, all the while imparting her culinary knowledge and her career experiences upon the audience. She emphasized the importance of feeling the dough when making pasta, having an enthusiasm for taking risks with seasonings, and showing the willingness to work hard in order to find success. As Chef Barbara wrapped up the demonstration, she confidently noted to her audience, “Anything is possible. As long as you love what you do.”

With that, students set out to stations around the Dining Hall where portions of dough were ready for making into tiny pasta dumplings. Each student rolled out their dough into ¾-inch think logs, then they cut them into small pieces – some choose to roll each of them into little dumplings and others opted for the cut shape. Chef Barbara visited each station to share her energy, direction and encouragement with the students.

Only moments after the dumplings were ready for boiling, single servings of the cumulative effort of Chef Barbara and the students were ready for tasting. The result was a melt-in-your-mouth dumpling with an indescribable airy lightness and a sensational sauce that added just the right amount of flavor to make you want more.

Students asked thoughtful questions during the demonstration, including “What training did you do to become a success?” and “What is your most used tool in the kitchen?”

Chef Barbara noted that she enjoyed the time spent with the students of Glenholme and was impressed by their polished social skills and extensive culinary knowledge. She even noted, “Their enthusiasm is infectious!”

The Culinary Program at Glenholme strives to create highly engaging activities to encourage social competency, cooperation, problem solving, and the use of increased coping skills. The success of the Culinary Program is evident across campus. Students also benefit tremendously from special guest chef visits that complement their real life experiences in the program. Many are enthusiastic about pursuing a career in the culinary field and guests such as Chef Barbara inspire them to strive for greater goals.
 
To see more photos check out our blog at: http://www.glenholmeschool.com
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