By AMY SAUTER Guest columnist
On Friday Dec. 20, the students and staff at Tri-City United High School were given the opportunity to tempt their taste buds with the fresh aroma of Japanese cuisine, with the help of guest Taher Chef Chris Murray.
Imagine walking out of your classroom and smelling fresh ginger and garlic. As you enter the cafeteria, you notice something is going on because there is a chef with a tall white hat cooking at a station. You see his fresh ingredients out on the decorated table as though you are transported across the pacific to Japan; sliced beef, minced ginger, lotus root, green onions, Udon noodles and then bam, all eyes are on the food that is quickly being tossed into the air and landing back in the pan. He is in action now, making your meal right in front of your eyes. What is it you ask? Asian Spiced Beef with pan seared lotus root and green onions with udon noodles.
Because of our relationship with Taher as our food service management company, Tri-City United has access to the Chefs Council and was honored to have Taher Chef Chris Murray come out for his first presentation. Since his formal training at a Culinary Arts School in Denver, Colo., Chef Chris’ passion for the culinary arts has kept him on the fast-track in his industry from catering small intimate private home parties to appeasing 25,000 participants at a Washington County Trade Show.
Prior to joining Taher in 2003 as corporate catering manager, Chris’ culinary experiences included: Director of catering for the Minnesota Vikings Food Service preparing food for the executive suites and VIP parties at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome; chef at the Eden Prairie City Center, catering weddings, corporate functions and private parties; executive chef to the CEO and board of directors for the IDS/American Express Corporation; and owner of a successful personal chef service” catering dinners, proms and private parties. In 1998, Chris had the privilege of catering the 1998 U.S. Presidential visit of Bill Clinton.
Tri-City United School District and Taher believe one of the key factors for a successful approach to school food service is to provide unique learning experiences for our students. Chef Chris came in to demonstrate his cooking skills and educate the students with a variety of fresh ingredients from one of the dishes he ate while traveling in Japan.
His “On Display” Station was very busy for a first visit, there was such a large interest we had some students and staff while waiting in line, learned a little more about the ever famous lotus root as the strips of beef seared in a hot pan. Tri-City United School District is looking forward to the return of our guest chef Chris Murray.
We are sure when he returns your child will be talking about the man with the tall white hat. In the meantime, our first tasting of the year will take place the first day back to school on Thursday, Jan. 2.
The students will have the opportunity to sample fresh pomegranate juice during their scheduled breakfast time. The Food Service Department hopes you all have a safe and wonderful winter break and look forward to everyone’s return next year.
Amy Sauter is food service director at Tri-City United Schools.
Reach her at [sf_email]email@example.com[/sf_email].