Serving Up Summit dishes out healthy, easy community cooking classes |

Serving Up Summit dishes out healthy, easy community cooking classes

Caramel apples were one of the treats participants learned to make at the Oct. 17 Serving Up Summit cooking class. The focus of the program is local, fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Kelsey Fowler / |

Serving Up Summit

Nov. 13 “Modern versions of Thanksgiving classics”

Stuffing, macaroni and cheese, candied yams and desserts

Dec. 11 “Crowd-pleasing party dishes”

Assorted appetizers and desserts

Jan. 15 “Chicken, chicken and more chicken”

Learn to break down a whole chicken and what to do with the parts

Feb. 5 “All things chocolate”

The name speaks for itself — chocolate

March 12 “Where is the beef?”

Learn how to work with different parts of a cow

April 23 “Pork, the other white meat”

Assorted recipes highlighting pork

May 7 “Grilling”

Kabobs, veggies and desserts

Added sugars and unhealthy fats make up 40 percent of children’s diets, but Erica Ewald is ready to serve up something different for families in Summit County.

Serving Up Summit is a monthly culinary class at Summit High School providing adults with culinary tips and techniques by teaching new, exciting recipes using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.

Ewald teaches culinary classes at the high school. Serving Up Summit is also an opportunity for the high school students in the culinary program to use their skills to teach others.

“People tell me all the time they wish they could make what my students make,” Ewald said.

At the first class on Oct. 18, six people — middle-school boys and grandmothers, moms and older brothers — donned aprons and prepared to make chocolate-covered bananas, caramel apples and pumpkin parfaits.

Serving Up Summit is run under the Families First program of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, (FCCLA) a nonprofit national career and technical student organization in family and consumer sciences education.

“Under the Families First program we want to get adults to share what they learn with their students, to take these skills home and spread that knowledge,” Ewald said.

All of the desserts on Thursday night were less than 500 calories, and Ewald said the pumpkins were local to the area and a healthy fall treat.

“We’re starting simple today,” she said. “These desserts are all a pretty easy level of difficulty.”

Kalee Hollingsworth is co-president of FCCLA at Summit High, and said the school’s Prostart classes have helped her prepare to work in the industry.

“We have a catering class and basic cooking classes here,” she said. “There’s hospitality, food prep, customer service, business, all of it.”

As participants used bright-red blenders to make real whipped cream, Monica Shantz, who was there with her son and her mother, said she liked the simple recipes.

“It’s definitely great for family bonding,” Shantz said. “You don’t have to set up, go out and buy the ingredients or clean up.”

In the industrial kitchen in the high school, pans rattled as the class learned culinary techniques such as how to set up and use a double boiler to melt chocolate on the stove.

“The recipes seem like we can do them at home,” Shantz said. “It’s fun to learn something new.”

Ewald said every class, which will have a different theme, will incorporate healthy choices and local produce.

“For example, breaking down a whole chicken is much more cost-effective,” she said. “Some parents say, ‘Oh I don’t know how to cook, I never cook’ but this helps show them how. It keeps the circle of education going.”

Classes run from 6 to 8 p.m. every month and cost $30 per person or $50 per couple. Reservations are required. Email Erica Ewald at

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