With dreams of becoming the next famous food critic, Abby Lenhard attended the Julian Krinsky Cooking School at Villanova University this summer. She is no stranger to the Julian Krinsky programs, she attended the JK School of Tennis years prior. While doing research for a new cooking camp to attend, she stumbled upon the JK summer cooking program for high schoolers and she knew she had to try it out. During the two week course she was able to increase her knowledge of knife skills and plating techniques as well as critiquing food.
Abby started cooking at a young age when her grandmother would watch her, hand her a bowl and say, “here start mixing this.” Over time her grandmother instructed her on different techniques and recipes which inspired her love of cooking. Both of her parents work, so to help out around the house she enjoys cooking dinner for the family. She is excited to take what she has learned during the course and apply it to her family meals.
“I like the program because it’s very progressive. The Chefs instruct you on the first day, ‘this is how you chop,’ and then the next day you practice chopping. Then, you will have some competitions which is always good. I also like how we’ve gotten into plating. Now I really pay attention to that because that is one of the hardest things to do. You might be able to make it, but can you make it look pretty? I really like that about this program,” she said.
Abby has attended other cooking programs in the past also but says she prefers Julian Krinsky Cooking School not only because of the progressive teaching methods but for the atmosphere. “I like how everyone has their own station. I like that you’re not just thrown in a kitchen and we’re all trying to get around each other, it’s a nice set up,” Abby said.
“My knife skills have definitely improved and some cuts I didn’t do before, I can do now. Like certain juliennes, oblique, asian roll cut, and a chiffonade. My cuts have really improved.”
While she loves to cook she hopes to someday become the next food critic for the New York Times. “I love the food industry and I would never say no to having my own restaurant, but I like the idea of being a food critic and being esteemed for my knowledge of being able to tell what’s good, what’s not, and being able to describe that and tell everybody in my own words.”