Could you imagine ever having a professional chef teach your high school family and consumer science class?

Students at Bangs High School enjoyed a special treat recently when Chef Talyon Lange from Le Cordan Bleu-Austin spent a day teaching students some of the special tricks chefs use to create the flair that they bring to meals and table settings.

Consumer science teacher Rachel Hall teaches a dual credit Culinary Arts class through Texas State Technical College-West Texas (TSTC). She said she wanted her culinary arts students as well as her regular Food Science and Nutrition students to have the experience of working hands on with a “true chef.”

Hall first met Lange last summer when she attended a culinary conference sponsored by the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Beef Council and Texas Culinary Academy and Central Market (H.E.B.) Lange holds a degree from the Texas Culinary Academy.

This Sous Chef has served his creations at the Four Seasons in Austin as well as the Texas Food and Wine Festival. In addition to being an ACF Certified Chef De Cuisine, Lange is a culinary competition judge.

Hall hoped that the chef would be willing to come and work with high school students, and he was delighted to accept the invitation to spend a day with her classes.

“I wanted students to be exposed to someone who’s in the business,” Hall said. “He (Talyon) has 17 years of experience in the field, and showed some career options to my students.”

According to Hall, students learned knife skills and how to create beautiful, edible garnishes using onions, carrots, lemons, potatoes, strawberries, grapes, and several other fruits and vegetables.

“Students were very receptive to the ideas presented by Chef Lange,” Hall said. “They interacted and asked questions during the presentation, and afterwards they created their own decorative, edible garnishes.”

Because of enrollment in the dual college credit program, several students have shown an interest in the culinary arts field. Senior Zack Sliger is one such student.

“During my dual-credit class we had Chef Talyor Lange come and visit us,” Sliger said. “He started showing the class some of the things you will learn in his school, and I knew that I was hooked.”

Sliger said that Lange showed the class how to crown a lemon to create a simple but elegant garnish. Students also got hands on practice blooming onions and “a-framing” carrots.

“Just him showing us these few of his many skills has encouraged my ambition to be a chef by tenfold,” Sliger said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tricia Evans is photo editor for all Bangs student publications.