Chef Christopher Russell has offered introductory cooking classes throughout the semester to Elon University students in each of the popular dining areas on campus. Russell is the owner of multiple local restaurants in the Elon and Burlington areas, including Town Table, B. Christopher’s and B’s Bistro.

“One of the things that kept coming up as they were building these beautiful facilities…was the amount of times the fire alarm goes off,” Russell said after his most recent session in the depot’s kitchen at the Station at Mill Point on Monday night.

In addition to the Danieley apartments and the community kitchens in particular dorms, the new Senior Village gives an additional 324 students living in on-campus housing the opportunity to cook their own meals.

[box]10 Basic Cooking Tips and Tricks-

  • Read the entire recipe before cooking
  • Bring water to a boil/let the pot start steaming before putting food in
  • Boiling water should taste like ocean water – i.e. use lots of salt!
  • The best way to avoid cutting yourself is to use very sharp knives
  • Use proper “claw technique” to avoid cutting your fingers
  • Use salt to pull moisture out of food and prevent it from getting soggy
  • Larger grained salt,such as Kosher,works better to pull out moisture
  • Always have pot handles pointed “in” to avoid spills
  • Using cold water to rinse food prevents steam
  • When cooking, solely concentrate on cooking!

“It’s just good information for people to know,” Russell said.

He provided sessions for Resident Assistants at the beginning of the semester, and it has been left up to the RA’s to promote the remaining classes.

During the hour-long demonstration, Russell cooked a large pasta dish called Creole Shrimp Pasta. He walked through the process step-by-step, while offering detailed pieces of advice for each sequence, such as boiling water, properly handling pot ware, cutting veggies, and adding spices and herbs to dishes. Russell emphasized the fact his sessions typically involve cooking a healthy meal that could feed several people for around $15.

Senior Jesse Rexroad, said she was at the demonstration because she doesn’t successfully cook things.

“I’m an expert at the microwave, but I thought it would be interesting to learn other things,” Rexroad said.

Before the class, pasta, sandwiches and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets were popular items among students cooking repertoires.

Mill Pointe resident senior Liz White expressed interest in attending other educational sessions similar to the cooking class.

“Why doesn’t Elon have a home economics class that you can take for credit?” she said.

Russell confirmed that the majority of his cooking sessions had been full; Monday night’s session exceeded the 10 student sign-up limit by about five students.

The second cooking session at Mill Pointe was originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 13th, but has been postposed until further notice.