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North Culinary Students Partner with Professionals

The culinary classes at Sheboygan North High School offer students real-life experiences.

Recently, North High Culinary Arts Co-op students had the opportunity to participate in the Kohler Food & Wine Experience. The event provided a platform with many unique learning experiences.

The Woodlake Market-sponsored Kohler Chefs' Challenge provided the opportunity for North Culinary students Raven Neils and Alex Theodoroff to assist Destination Kohler chefs Christopher Thee, Blackwolf Run, and John Beauvis, American Club Banquets, as they competed for the Best of Show title.

According to North High School culinary instructor Karen Sullivan, the students were passionate about wanting to be teamed up with the Kohler chefs during this annual event.

To participate in the competition the students had to earn fundraising dollars. Both Neils and Theodoroff enjoyed the opportunity to work with such prestigious chefs and really felt they learned a lot.

The Kohler Food & Wine Experience also prompted an invitation to North Culinary students for a partnership with Johnsonville from Corporate Development Chef Michael Zeller.

Chef Zeller invited the Culinary Arts/Hospitality Co-op class to create toppings or condiments that could be served with Johnsonville brats.

"It didn't take long for the students to rise to the challenge and try to come up with a variety of recipes, representing a diverse flavor arena," said Sullivan.

Their recipes and finished products were featured at the Johnsonville table during the event's Vendor Fairs at Woodlake Market.

The creations, whose recipes follow, included: Peach-Mango Chutney Dijon, Hot Mustard Onion Relish, Tomatillo Green Apple Chipotle Relish and Caramelized Shallot (Door County) Cherry Confit.

"The students said they really enjoyed talking to shoppers and visitors about Chef Zeller's mustard creations and the condiments that their class created," said Sullivan. "They were also pleased that some customers asked if they could buy their products."

Other students in the class who participated in the project were: Kevin Bolwerk, Brian Shaw and Colin Wilis.

Chef Zeller also invited the students to assist him at his Food & Wine presentation, "Autumn Savours" at the Sub Zero and Wolf Midwest Chefs' Stage.

In preparing for the presentation, students Heather Madson, Neils and Theodoroff, visited the Johnsonville Global Headquarters Corporate Kitchen where they helped to mise en place for Chef Zeller's presentation the following day. They helped in the preparation of a Zesty Cheese and Sausage Soup, Andouille Sausage-Chicken Salad and Brat and Kraut Strudel.

Zeller gave them a tour and taught them many great cooking techniques. Madson and Theodoroff served as assistants to Zeller during his presentation.

Johnsonville Chef Michael Zeller with students Heather Madson & Alex Theodoroff.
The culinary students teamed up with Zeller as part of the Kohler Food & Wine Experience
developing a series of condiments and toppings that could be served with Johnsonville
Brats. Zeller is a North High School alumnus and has been beneficial in the past, providing
the North High Culinary teams with special competition products and uniforms for the
2005 National Championship ProStart® Culinary Team.


Peach--Mango Chutney Dijon
Original recipe tested and developed by North High School students: Heather Madson and Raven Neils

3/4 cup chopped peaches
1/4 cup Major Grey's Mango Chutney
1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon (not coarse ground) mustard
1/4 teaspoon marjoram leaves

Combine all ingredients and simmer just until peaches are tender and mixture has reduced to thick consistency. Makes about ¾-1 cup topping.

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Hot Mustard Onion Relish
(Adapted from The Food Channel)
Tested and developed by North High School students Kevin Bolwerk, Alex Gamez, Brian Shaw & Alex Theodoroff

4 medium onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard
1 cup (Capitol Brewery) Munich Dark Beer
3 tablespoons coarse whole grain mustard
1/16 teaspoon (a generous dash) cayenne pepper

Sauté onions in butter in a large skillet over meat heat until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.

Deglaze pan with dark beer. Cook until beer has evaporated and pan is au sec. Stir in brown sugar, mustards, and cayenne pepper. Serve warm. Makes 1 1/2-cups.

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Tomatillo, Green Apple Chipotle Relish
(Adapted from Epicurious: Gourmet, June 2004)
Tested and developed by North High School students: Holly Berg, Gee Lee and Tiana Wieck

1/2 lb. (about 5) fresh tomatillos, husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed
2 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

Simmer tomatillos and 3 cups water in a 2 1/2-3 quart saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are just soft, 8-10 minutes. Drain and cool.

While tomatillos are cooling, core apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Puree tomatillos with remaining ingredients except apples in a food processor.
Transfer mixture to medium saucepan and add apples. Cook until apples are tender and mixture thickens. Store in refrigerator when cool. Serve cold. Makes 2 cups or a pint.

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Shallot Door County Cherry Confit
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.)
Developed and tested by North High School students: Alex Theodoroff, Brian Shaw & Colin Willis

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces shallots, trimmed and quartered
1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup Door County dried cherries, coarsely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup vonStiehl Door County Cherry Kirsch Wine (fortified with brandy)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots, onion, cherries and thyme. Cover, and cook until shallots and onion are soft and beginning to caramelize, 12-14 minutes. Stir in sugar. Continue to cook, covered, until shallots and onion are caramelized, 10-12 minutes.

Add wine and 1/4 cup warm water. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and mixture is deep brown, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. Confit can be refrigerated in an air-tight container, up to 1 week. Makes about 1 1/2-2 cups.
Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
November 4, 2008