by Carolyn Jummati
On Monday, September 23rd after class was out and most students had gone home for the night, the halls of Lexington College were filled with the comforting smell of warm, fresh bread. The Baking Club, led by Chef Cheryl Brookhouzen, Executive Pastry Chef at the Marriott in Chicago, and student leader Meg Aldrich, was having its first official meeting. Students picked recipes the previous week for what they would like to make. There was everything from brioche and sourdough bread, to individual strawberry shortcakes. Students learned basic bread making techniques such as kneading and scoring the dough, and Chef Cheryl shared her own tips from the various experiences she has had as a baker and pastry chef.
The culinary lab was not lacking laughter and smiles from everyone for the entire 3 ½ hour meeting, as Chef Cheryl provides a fun, spontaneous work environment. Around 7pm, she decided that snacks would be a good idea while waiting for the dough to rise, so students helped create Nutella-stuffed crepes with strawberries and coffee flavored whipped cream, as well as four types of flatbread pizza. Needless to say, it did not take long for everyone to finish the snacks.
Baking Club at Lexington College meets twice a month, along with additional trips to off-campus locations. The club is open to all students who would like to explore baking, whether for personal or professional reasons. Each week there will be a theme chosen by students so that everyone can learn similar tricks and tips. The next meeting will focus on cake and cookie decorating. Students pick out fun ideas to go with a Halloween theme. Anyone interested can fill out the weekly sign-up sheet so Chef Cheryl knows how many students to expect. The club meets every other Monday from 5:30pm-9:30pm in the Culinary Lab.