By: Ryan Hodros, Escoffier Graduate
Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts Veteran Newsletter – March 26th
USDA Aids Veterans in the Transition of Farming Careers
2014 Farm Bill Includes Farming Incentives for Vets
Mar 3—An article published by NPR this month chronicles a push by the USDA to encourage former service members to transition into the agricultural field after separation or retirement. In addition to the employment opportunities presented, recent studies have shown that a number of veterans like Sara Creech (pictured right) find farm work therapeutic in the face of PTSD and other service related issues.
In recent years, nonprofit organizations like the National Center for Appropriate Technology and universities like the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture have established programs to help veterans make the transition from war to plow, and Congress is now getting on board. The 2014 Farm Bill established veterans as a unique class of beginning farmer, giving them access to low-interest loans for startup equipment, animals, and produce, as well as grants for improvements to existing farms and heightened incentives for conservation practices.
Michael O’Gorman, founder of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, is excited Veterans that choose a career in agriculture are finally being acknowledged. The FVC is a nonprofit organization that helps Veterans find jobs and other opportunities within the agricultural industry. He says membership has doubled since the Farm Bill was passed.
Farming is a difficult job (as many culinary arts students at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts find out first hand) with high startup costs, often low profit margins, long hours, and success often dependent on the weather. But the new classification gives Veteran-farmers an advantage in a difficult career.
In the face of a community of farmers averaging 58 years old, this is a boon for a USDA eager to attract fresh faces. In that way, the new Farm Bill is a win/win—Veterans get a therapeutic career in which they can thrive, and everyone gets a new generation of dedicated farmers.
From Vets to Chefs
Veterans Bring Unique Skills to the Culinary Industry
Good Magazine released an article highlighting advantages veterans have over their civilian counterparts in the culinary industry, interviewing a series of culinary students with military experience. The article discusses what Veterans bring to the kitchen, including an understanding of the chain of command and a meticulous nature that many new chefs lack.
In addition to putting their discipline and attention to detail to work, the culinary world offers vets a kind of work therapy to many veterans in their transition to the civilian world.Ricardo Amador, former Air Force member and current Executive Chef at the Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin TX, puts it this way: “Escoffier offers a peace of mind, knowing that you are being taught for whatever path you decide to take.”
Recipe Corner: Chocolate Brownies
|You can never go wrong with baking traditional chocolate brownies – there’s nothing not to love about a chewy, chocolatey brownie straight out of the oven!|
4 oz milk chocolate
4 oz unsalted butter
7 oz sugar
½ t vanilla
½ t Salt
1 oz coffee
2 oz bread flour
3 oz AP flour
1 oz chocolate powder
4 oz chocolate chips
- Set oven to 350. Grease a 9X9 pan and line with parchment paper. On low heat, melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in a small sauce pan. Be careful to not scorch the chocolate.
- In a separate pan, stir together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and coffee. Slowly mix in the butter/chocolate mix. Using as few strokes as possible, mix in the flours and chocolate powder. Pour into your greased pan and sprinkle the 4 oz of chips evenly over the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then turn the temp down to 275 and bake for another 10-20 minutes. The brownies should be slightly moist inside. Poke a toothpick into the brownies—it should come out with some brownie still clinging to it, but what is clinging should not look wet. Let your brownies cool completely before cutting.
Recipe by Veteran/Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts pastry graduate Ryan Hodros
David Petraeus to Plead Guilty to Intelligence Mismanagement
Plea bargain results in $40,000 fine and two years’ probation after the decorated General made classified materials available to his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell.
New Bill Could Lead to Increased Small Business Loans for Vets
The proposed HR 1133 would make business loans to Veterans exempt from caps under the Credit Union Membership Access Act.
Long Wait Time Still Reported at Los Angeles VA Hospital
CNN reports that, despite calls for reform, LA VAMC is averaging 48 day wait times for patients, with some taking as long as 3 months.
Former military members will find kitchen life oddly familiar, as discipline and rank are an integral part of day-to-day work. It’s not recommended you call your executive chef by anything but his title.
The Roman Garrison in Britain is estimated to have eaten 33.5 tons of grain per day. Notably, despite extensive record-keeping, there is no evidence of Roman soldiers complaining about the chow.
Food For Thought…
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