Levi Briggs Spring 2018 Blog

The Joy of Teaching

by Levi Briggs, June 19, 2018

As you all know, I am the executive chef at York College in York, PA.  One of my favorite aspects of my job is a monthly class I teach called the YCP Teaching Kitchen.  This is a voluntary class the students can attend in order to learn basic cooking skills and techniques.  This is a hands-on class- not just an instructor demonstrating, rather, the students have their own cooking stations. The class gives me an opportunity to teach-which is incredibly rewarding!

I recently held my all-time favorite class – “Butchery, Seasoning and Grilling.”  The class was held in the evening, so that morning, I arranged to have half of a steer delivered to the college, which was cut into two halves.  The first thing I showed the students was how to make primal cuts (chuck, rib, loins, round, brisket, flank, etc.) and then we moved on to the sub-primal cuts (rib eye, short ribs, flat-iron, etc.).

After a lesson in butchery, the students learned some seasoning and grilling techniques.  We talked about how seasoning, even something as simple as salt and pepper, can really enhance the flavor of the meat.  We discussed how to locate hot spots on the grill, cooking temperatures and how to move the meat around while it’s cooking.

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After every class, the students and I sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  On this particular evening, I decided to reward them with surf and turf, so after they learned how to cook the beef, they got to experience cooking and breaking down a lobster.

It is very encouraging to see these kids, every month, taking part in this class because they sincerely want to learn culinary skills. The Butchery, Seasoning and Grilling class was filled to capacity and the feedback from the students was incredibly positive.  We all meet, after hours, to take part in something about which we all feel passionate.  Teaching brings me great satisfaction and I am grateful to have the opportunity give back to my community in some way, however small it may be!

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