Students embrace concept whole-hog after tasting fresh local produce, pork
A prominent executive chef and local farmer teamed up Saturday to teach 15 Carnegie Vanguard HS students about differences in food that comes directly from the source.
Carlos Rodriguez, concept executive chief for Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, had extended the invitation after he observed the school and observed its raised beds in the courtyard that included some edible plants.
A number of the students responsible for tending the plants, as well as anatomy students, spent the day at the Landry’s corporate kitchen comparing mass-produced and factory-produced foods with local, organically grown vegetables, and made salads and dressings from the local products.
Rodriguez also arranged for area farmer Felix Florez of the small local heritage farm, Black Hills Meats, to bring in a half of a freshly slaughtered hog. Florez discussed the difference between a hog that is fed on corn alone, and how he raises his hogs. He butchered the animal in front of them, and the students prepared both store-bought and Black Hills pork chops, to compare the quality.
In addition to learning the difference in freshness, students received recipes they could make at home – and Rodriguez offered to mentor students who have an interest in culinary arts.
He’s becoming something of a celebrity chef – and was flown last month to Las Vegas to prepare a meal for former President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, and her husband, retired Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly.