Chef duo from Edwins Restaurant visits campus


Henry Bendon, Staff Reporter

Chris Terry is the chef de cuisine at Edwins Leadership and Restaurant, a restaurant that pairs fine dining with opportunities for the formerly incarcerated to make an experience designed to improve the lives of both customers and staff. On Nov. 27 Terry and one of his trainees visited the kitchen in House 5 at The Village at 115 for a presentation that combined a cooking demonstration with an interactive history lesson about Terry’s career as a chef and Edwins as an institution.

Terry’s appearance was part of a series of presentations coordinated through the French department. Although the guests spoke English, the dish prepared, Artichoke a la Barigoule, was classic French cuisine. Terry prepared each part of the dish in front of a small crowd of curious onlookers explaining as he went. Lessons ranged from day-to-day tips, like how to peel an artichoke or properly dice an onion, to more complex technical items, such as the proper way to produce a Sauce Tomate, the tomato-based cornerstone of French cooking that serves as one of the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine.

One of Terry’s most popular pieces of advice included a way to avoid the bane of all home cooks, the crying caused by cutting onions. To limit the crying normally caused by dicing onions, Terry said you should use very sharp knives to avoid crushing the plants cell walls. He also said that in the restaurant if someone has to cut a large quantity of onions, they will set up a fan to blow the offending vapors away before they can reach the eyes.

The entertainment factor spiked during a story about a high profile demonstration Terry gave about Artichoke a la Barigoule on the Cooking Channel TV show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”

The guest on the show was a fellow Cleveland chef, Trentina’s Jonathon Sawyer. Sawyer, whose restaurant specializes in Northern Italian cooking, complemented Edwin’s version of the aforementioned vegetable dish. Despite this praise, Terry felt Sawyer did a poor job describing the dish. Sawyer ending up with two minutes of airtime talking about the dish incorrectly. Terry himself went through two full days of filming to only appear on screen for a few seconds.

A slight trick played a role in the dish the presenting duo served, to the crowd at House 5. They had prepared artichokes in advance and hid them in the refrigerator so they could swap a fully cooked version into the dish instead of waiting for the vegetables to steam. The final product was then passed around to satisfy a very hungry crowd.