“I do always encourage people to cook with abandon,” said Chef David Ivey-Soto to a group of student chefs at Newport High School. “We chefs have a saying, chefs don’t make mistakes. We just come up with a new recipe.”
Chef David Ivey-Soto presented a live cooking demonstration with Chef Mitchell Mayers, in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America, during a live feed of “Teaching with the CIA” at Newport High School. Newport’s culinary students saw these demonstrations from industry professionals first hand, while the segment was broadcast from Newport’s kitchen to other Prostart schools in the state.
Chef David Ivey-Soto, a graduate from the CIA, started the show with how to prepare salmon gravlax. During Ivey-Soto’s demonstration he was asked by the audience, “As a chef, what are the senses you use?” Ivey-Soto explained the importance of using all five senses. He also urged students to “try different things” so that they can get the full experience of a variety of foods.
Mitchell Mayers, was the second chef presenter on the segment. He prepared one of his favorite dishes, a parsnip potato gnocchi, with crispy guanciale, chantrelles and quince chutney.
Now a chef at Lark in Seattle, Mayers started his culinary journey at Newport and continued his education at the CIA.
Mayers made note of one teacher at the CIA in particular saying, “Chef Cheng is probably one of the toughest women you’ll ever meet. Her knife skills are by far the best of anyone. Knife skills are the foundation of what we do and hers are top notch.”
Mayers reflected on his education at the CIA and his experience working at two of the campus restaurants. He said, “you got to rise to the occasion. And that was one of those first experiences where it’s just like you got to be better and you got to keep working on it. So it just pushed me further.”
The event was a proud day for Chef Tracy Green, who was recruited to teach the culinary class at Newport High School 10 years ago by Mayers when he was in the class at the age of 17.
Green was impressed with Mayer’s demonstration and said, “Mitch Mayers was a great teacher. He has the ability to talk, teach and train.”
Culinary students at Newport will be able to apply the skills and knowledge gained from Ivey-Soto and Mayers within days, said Green. “We are doing a catering job this week, using the salmon the chef (Ivey-Soto) cured and making gnocchi using Chef Mitch’s technique.”