Mark Dandurand and Nathan Frazo still have smiles on their faces a week after experiencing the biggest moment in their young culinary careers.
Last week, the two Ozarks Technical Community College students were asked to assist Sheryl Crow’s personal chef in preparing the rock star’s pre-concert meal before her performance at Drury University.
“Awesome doesn’t even describe it,” said Nathan, who cooks at the Clarion Hotel in addition to going to culinary school at OTC.
The two students were picked after Crow’s personal chef, Chuck White, contacted Lisa Gardner, director of OTC’s culinary arts program. White routinely contacts culinary schools in the city where Crow is playing to ask for help in preparing the meal.
“I didn’t think twice. I said, ‘Sure, I’ll do it,’” Mark said.
Mark and Nathan won national SkillsUSA honors last month for their culinary abilities. Mark took second place in culinary arts and Nathan was seventh in the nation in commercial baking, which came in handy in cooking for Crow, 15 others and three children.
The meal was prepared in a conference room in the O’Reilly Family Center where the concert was held. Chef White brings a portable kitchen with him to prepare Crow’s meals, who started eating healthier after battling breast cancer a few years ago.
“They were a pretty easy group to cook for,” said Mark, who cooks at the Twin Oaks Country Club.
The three-course meal consisted of a fried green tomato BLT with the grilled tomato serving as the bun; a rib eye steak with smoked tomato sauce; roasted vegetables and potatoes; and for dessert, a strawberry panna cotta with a strawberry-blueberry sauce.
Nathan’s award-winning bakery skills were put to the test making the panna cotta.
“I never made one before but I did it. They ate it,” he said with a smile.
Nathan also served the group, including Crow, who didn’t engage in a lot of conversation with the OTC student but ate all of her meal.
“She said ‘Thank you,’ and said the food was great. As soon as she finished eating, she went backstage to get ready for the concert,” Nathan said.
The experience has left the students thinking about doing more with their careers than just cooking in restaurants.
“I think I’d like to travel and cook for celebrities,” Mark said. “That would be pretty fantastic.”
Steve Koehler is coordinator of media relations at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Director of Communications
Coordinator of Media Relations
Phone: (417) 447-2666