On September 19th, several members of the Humanities Pathway were blessed to be able to learn from Chef Katherine Boucher, an experienced professional chef based out of Tustin, CA. Chef Katherine had an unconventional path to the culinary arts, beginning in acting at Chapman University before venturing into culinary school at 26. From the moment she stepped foot in her first class, though, Chef Katherine knew she’d found her passion.
Now, she works in a variety of ways, most notably serving the local community through meal delivery of pre-prepped, organic meals from scratch. Chef Katherine loves to cook all cuisines, especially Mediterranean and Asian dishes, and appreciates the diversity of cuisines available in Orange County. Her Instagram, @chefkatherine, shows off her recipes and includes a link to her personal website; it’s an amazing source of culinary expertise, and I highly recommend that you check it out.
In our lesson, Chef Katherine walked us through a simple, one pan honey chipotle chicken and rice, consisting of chicken thighs, basmati rice, and zucchini seasoned with paprika, chipotle, and lemon zest, all topped with a homemade hot honey. We learned proper cutting techniques—including how to chiffonade basil—as well as seasoning tips (it’s always more salt and pepper than you think). She helped us prepare the entire dish in a single tray, then we each baked them at home to serve our families with a delicious, Greek-inspired meal!
Speaking to prospective home cooks, Chef Katherine advised us to start small and simple, and “pick a type of cuisine” to begin with, mastering basic recipes to make the challenges of cooking less “intimidating.” Everyone present can attest to that—this recipe would have been difficult to attempt alone, but Chef Katherine’s guidance and tips made cooking both fun and educational. (My parents also appreciate her for freeing them from a night of cooking, and providing an excellent new recipe to try). Chef Katherine’s lesson was an amazing first experience to share with the Humanities Pathway this year, and we’re so grateful she was able to give us a glimpse into the vast world of cooking!
Photo Credit: Mrs. Pinick