Help! My Apartment has a Kitchen

Author: Lisa Wenzel


Notre Dame Food Services Executive Chef Don Miller, CEC, CCE, AAC, presented solutions to more than 100 members of the Notre Dame Class of 2013. 

Along with Chef Giuseppe Macerate, CEC, and Chef Charu Pant, CEC, Chef Miller presented a menu of Wild Flower Honey Citrus Vinaigrette, Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Penne Pasta Gorgonzola, and Almond Ricotta Cannoli.  This interactive class included a chance for the participants to test their skills preparing their own Vinaigrette.  

Tips for finding the right apartment kitchen as well as the basics that you need in your first kitchen were part of the curriculum.  Looking for a kitchen with east facing windows to get direct sunlight, having convenient garbage disposal facilities, modern appliances, storage space, and a double basin kitchen sink are all keys to look for.  Some of the recommended basics to have on hand include a wooden spoon, a can opener, dishware, and a cork screw.  Be prepared with essential staples like beans, herbs, pasta, rice, and cereal.  Participants were encouraged to “cheat where it makes sense.  You may not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when you’re at home.”  Using canned beans or pop and bake biscuits are all good options. 



Participants learned to do ten cooking essentials:


  • Blanch Vegetables
  • Dice an Onion
  • Sear a Steak
  • Make a Quick Pan Sauce
  • Make Grains or Couscous
  • Braise Chicken
  • Roast Fish
  • Kick out a Quick Dessert
  • Make an Easy Potato Dish
  • Plan the Meal


You can enjoy the tangy and sweet vinaigrette that these students made as well!

Wild Flower Honey Citrus Vinaigrette                                                                                   Yield: 3 cups




1 cup

2 ounces

¾ tsp.

½ tsp.

1 1/3 tbsp.

5 ¼  fl. ounces

1 cup


White balsamic vinegar

Wild flower honey

Sea salt

White pepper

Orange zest

Orange juice

Vegetable oil

  1. Combine balsamic vinegar, honey, sea salt, white pepper, zest and orange juice.





  1. Slowly pour the oil into the above mixture whipping vigorously to make an emulsification
  2. Reserve in refrigerator and before pouring on salad whip again to bring back emulsification.