Culinary breakfast fundraiser spreads omelet cheer

Maddie Magruder

Junior Mallory Barnes brushes up on her cooking skills to prepare for nationals. Photo by Maddie Magruder
On a sunny, hot Saturday morning, the farmer’s market next to the ARC bustled with activity. Locals sold delectables from fresh carrots and strawberries to homemade pies.
It was a seemingly normal morning for the farmer’s market, but across the field, the CACC’s Culinary Arts students prepared custom omelets for each customer.
Using only local ingredients purchased at the farmer’s market from local vendors, the students allowed the customers to choose from up to five meats and vegetables from a long list of both common and exotic foods, including Thai basil, asparagus and sunflower blossom.
Junior Morgan Widhalm was wary of the strange ingredients at first, but after one bite, her worries disappeared, and she deemed the omelet “delicious.”
“At first I was a little intimidated because they had really hoity-toity ingredients that I didn’t even really know what they were,” Widhalm said, “but after much deliberation and some help from the cooks, I decided [which ingredients to get].  I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought. I felt pretty adventurous. Normally I wouldn’t have tried the goat cheese, but it was really good.”
The breakfast was set up under two large tents, one for culinary students and one for the customers. Customers put in their orders with a couple students, who then sent it back to the make-shift kitchen. It was made up of many small stoves and omelet pans with ingredients in ice buckets to keep cool. The process of making the omelets was open to the public, allowing customers to watch the culinary students at work.
Even though the temperatures lingered near the 80s — making for a hot morning — Widhalm enjoyed the early morning experience just the same.
“Everything just seemed so bright and fresh,” Widhalm said. “People were just walking around having fun. They weren’t pressed for time or anything. I just feel like everyone was really happy to be there.”
The proceeds from the breakfast will go toward a fund for  junior Mallory Barnes, state champion for baking and pastry, and senior Will Kinney, state champion for culinary. The money will help them travel to national competition in Kansas City where they each will compete against 49 other culinary students, one from each state.
“All the money that we made, minus our expenses, goes towards the gas to get up [to Kansas City, our] hotel, our food up there so that me or Will don’t have to pay for anything while we go up there,” Barnes said. “It doesn’t have to come out of our pockets.”
Junior Cameron Grahl, who is in Culinary Arts 1 and worked at the breakfast, said compared to the other events the culinary program has worked at, this one hits closer to home because it will help the state champions.
“This is different because it’s directly going to two of our culinary students and not the culinary program,” Grahl said. “All of our catering events have been to help upkeep our program and upkeep what we represent and not just Will [Kinney] and Mallory [Barnes], so this time it’s more personal.”
Barnes said she loved the experience because  it allowed her to get to know and talk to other culinary students outside of her class.  She said she also got the chance to “perfect my omelet skills,” which was something she hadn’t made a lot in her experience in culinary.
The culinary program will also have a breakfast tomorrow morning in the same location, next to the ARC. In addition to just omelets, homemade pastries will also be for sale. Omelets are $5 and pastries range from $1.50 to $2.50.
By Maddie Magruder