Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

November 13, 2013

Cooking cadets

New culinary program at Ivy Tech in Peru prepares students for competitive job market.

(Continued)

“What gave us the final nudge was a gift from Ken, his business and his family, and we are so very much appreciative of that,” said Ivy Tech Kokomo Region Chancellor Steve Daily. “I think that we’re going to find that in this community and in this region, this is going to be a very popular program that is going to grow very rapidly.”

And it’s gotten off to a good start.

“When we started out, we worried we wouldn’t have enough students to even run it,” Kirk said last week, as students scuttled around the pantry grabbing ingredients for their soups. “So we’re really happy with the eight that we have … They all have a lot of passion for cooking, and they’re all learning quickly.”

Jerry Hassett, a 67-year-old retiree from Logansport, said he was one of those learning new things every week about cooking.

He said he retired last year from working in the purchasing department for an industrial supply company, and he told his family if anyone ever offered culinary classes closer than Indianapolis, he was doing it.

After all, he loves cooking, and he’s been doing it all his life. So as a veteran cook, when did Hassett start learning new things?

“Day one,” he said. “You learn there’s a lot of different things you’ve been doing wrong.”

For example, he used to always break the yoke when he made hard-cooked eggs. But that’s not how it’s done. You’re supposed to just let the egg cook all the way through.

“I’d gotten away with it all those years,” he said with a laugh.

Hassett said he doesn’t plan on using the certificate for anything in particular once he completes the program. He’s just doing it for fun.

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