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Fairmont students prep for court visit

YOUNG CHEFS — Students in Fairmont High School’s ProStart Culinary II class prepare to cook a meal for members of the Minnesota Supreme Court, who will be at the school Wednesday. From left: Kaylene Lindquist, Hailey Obernolte and Jenna Raney.

FAIRMONT — The Minnesota Supreme Court will be at Fairmont High School on Wednesday to hear a case in front of area students. After the hearing, members of Fairmont’s ProStart culinary arts program will make a meal for the justices.

Jeanne Garbers-Walden is the ProStart instructor at the high school. Prostart is a nationwide program and was just implemented in Fairmont this school year. Garbers shared how her class came to be involved with the event.

“Superintendent Joe Brown asked me this past summer after he found out that our school was selected for the court hearing,” she said. “He wanted us to be a part of the event. With the culinary program just getting started with ProStart, he thought it would be a great opportunity for them to do a service event.”

Students in the Culinary II class will cater the event. There are 31 students in the class in two different sections.

Garbers said students all have a task and have been assigned either lead chef, plating and garnish, server, or host and hostess.

“They’re doing it all,” she said.

Seth Lintelman, owner of the Cup N’ Saucer restaurant in Sherburn, is serving as a mentor to the class for the event. Lintelman has come into the classroom several times to help students prepare.

Garbers and Lintelman discussed menu ideas and then students got to vote on the final menu. It includes a parsnip bisque with a parsley pesto, homemade bread, bacon steak served with roasted delicata squash and lemon garlic kale. Dessert is apple bread pudding with homemade caramel sauce.

The meal is for 30 to 35 people, which includes student guides, members of administration and the justices.

They got meat from Welcome Meats, and produce and other goods from Hy-Vee in Fairmont. All the items were purchased with funds set aside for the event.

“My students will be in formal attire that day, including chef coats, pants and hats,” Garbers said.

Not only will students cook the entire meal, they will plate and serve it.

“Last week, we practiced logistics on service, like carrying a plate, setting it down, greeting someone and taking away a plate,” Garbers explained.

On the day of the event, the Lintelmans will be there to help, with Seth in the kitchen and Elizabeth out front. The students will prepare the meal in their classroom and serve it in the classroom next door, which will be turned into a “restaurant” for the day.

Lintelman is familiar with the ProStart program and was approached in the summer by someone and asked if he would be interested in being a mentor.

“My philosophy is get kids interested now. Someday maybe they will be someone who will take over my spot,” Lintelman said.

After Garbers found out her class would be cooking for the event, she contacted Lintelman to see if he would be willing to help out.

“We’re super appreciative of the school for giving us the opportunity to mentor and help out,” Lintelman said. “Hopefully it will help get some kids turned on to culinary arts and cooking.”

As Garbers noted, some of her students are already working at restaurants and have an interest in cooking, but the ProStart program gives them a picture of the whole process and what goes into running a restaurant.

One of those students, Carson Kuhl, a senior, works in the kitchen at The Ranch in Fairmont. He is potentially interested in going on to study culinary arts after high school.

Kuhl will be a lead chef on the day of the event and said he has learned quite a lot from Lintelman.

“I’ve learned different techniques like how to make different glazes and what each item is supposed to look like,” he said,

When asked what he is most looking forward to on the day of the event, Kuhl said, “Making the food, but making it right and having all of these people be satisfied. I hope our school makes a good impression on them.”

“I feel like it’s a unique menu,” Garbers said. “It’s something that the students can appreciate learning, but also be proud serving.”

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