Family Recipes Gone Healthy
Could the "Fried Chicken Queen of Mantua" make her dish healthier? A Drexel course offered the chance...
Could the "Fried Chicken Queen of Mantua" make her legendary dish healthier? A Drexel course offered the chance, and West Philadelphia resident Josephine "Joe" Samuel rose to the challenge.
Samuel baked the chicken, added bread crumbs to maintain the crunch and seasoned for flavor — all based on techniques learned in "Local Culinary Traditions," a summer class from Drexel's Center for Hospitality and Sport Management in which four neighborhood residents and four Drexel students cooked together for 10 weeks.
Each participant brought a favorite family recipe that they "healthified" with the help of Chef James Feustel. The dishes were later shared at community dinners at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, Drexel's "urban extension center" where the University collaborates with residents of the Powelton and Mantua neighborhoods.
"Drexel is interwoven into the fabric of the community," says Feustel, professor and director of the Department of Culinary Arts and Food Science. "We sought to engage the community to develop this program where we're improving their lifestyle and their cooking habits."
The Dornsife Center celebrated its grand opening in June, with programs ranging from law clinics to environmental health seminars to a neighborhood history exchange. A second community culinary class, funded by the same GlaxoSmithKline grant as Culinary Traditions, is teaching food preservation techniques to stem overreliance on canned foods.