Like most of us, Michelle Zorn loves a picnic, potluck or any other get-together involving food. She’s just a little more qualified than most to contribute a dish to the mix.
“I really think that food makes the mood,” said Zorn, who will become the first graduate of Butler Community College’s Culinary Arts Institute this month. “When you bring something that’s visually appealing and festive, it makes people excited and makes them feel special.”
Zorn was already cooking professionally when she went back to school to get her degree. The institute is part of Butler’s Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, which relocated to Wichita in fall 2012.
Ultimately, Zorn would like to open a patisserie or small bakery and perhaps teach cooking.
For this article, she took up the challenge of creating a few easily transportable dishes that would be welcome at any gathering. Her recipes for Roasted Tomato and Onion Jam and Honey Mustard Creme are intended to be used as toppings for sliders – those little sandwiches that are so popular now. Use them alone or together to top beef, turkey, chicken or another sandwich filling.
The Summer Veggie Terrine, served with crackers or bread, is a great way to get things started. And the Orange Cornmeal Cupcakes topped with Marmalade Cream make for a fun finish.
“I wanted to do nothing too terribly heavy,” Zorn said of her creations. “My intent was just to make them party size and have fun with them.”