Checkoff-funded grant gives culinary students a look at today’s veal

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BEDFORD, Pa. — Veal sizzled in the culinary classroom of Monroe Career and Technology Institute (MCTI) in Bartonsville, Pa., Feb. 24.

Through a Veal in the Classroom grant, students learned how to cook with veal, how veal is raised and about today’s veal farmers.

Culinary instructor Tamara Stelmach invited ninth grade students of all disciplines to join her culinary classes for the day, learning what it takes to plan a full lunch menu.

Students rotated between five stations, creating appetizers, main dishes, sides and dessert. Culinary students taught other ninth graders the basics of preparing a meal from scratch, which was later shared with the group.

Close to 44 students and three instructors participated in the lesson.

Veal focus

Veal, donated by Mountain States Rosen, went into recipes such as veal sliders, cheeseburger turnovers and chili. For many, this was the first time preparing and tasting veal.

While browning ground veal for the chili, student Dylan Hawley, a ninth grader, commented he was impressed with the “variety of food you can make with veal,” and “it smells good!”

And the adults learned something, too. Assistant Administrator Dr. Carolyn Shegelski liked the veal better than hamburger, saying it was delicious, “leaner and tastier.”

Robert Supancik, of Mountain States Rosen, joined beef council staff in presenting to the class about how today’s veal is raised.

Stelmach said the veal grant opportunity, and working with a product such as veal, “gives young culinary students a chance they might not otherwise have. The students will take this experience with them through their culinary careers.”

Annual program

The grant was made possible through a partnership with the Pennsylvania Beef Council, Mountain States Rosen, Formula One Feeds and Waja Farm Growers.

Each year, 40 family and consumer science high school and middle school classrooms are selected to participate in the Beef & Veal in the Classroom Program. Teachers are either offered reimbursement for beef purchases or veal product delivered to their school for in class lessons.

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