MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Chef Terry Rademann stood in the main room of the Midway Park Community Center, aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune housing area, surrounded by colorful vegetables, kitchen electronics and other staples of a kitchen.
“On TV, they cut things very fast,” he said. “You should cut things at a speed you feel comfortable with.”
He demonstrated some techniques and added, in a conspiring tone, “I think it’s an ego thing for the TV guys.”
Families throughout the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune community came to watch Rademann demonstrate healthy cooking tips through the first of a series of cooking classes offered by the community center, “Healthy Resolutions.”
In addition to healthy recipes, the class provided a light atmosphere where Rademann was able to provide a slew of supplemental information. He answered questions and provided tips and tricks through each step of the class.
“The biggest thing I want to do is show them that cooking doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating, you don’t have to be Bobby Flay or Gordon Ramsey,” said Rademann. “I try to relate things in a way that people understand. I don’t need to spout things in French or do any extra flashy stuff. When they leave, I want them to know what they’re doing.”
Through the interactive cooking class format, people were able to ask questions, an option not available through cooking TV shows.
“It’s great,” said Denise Burns, a participant in the class. “I loved how he described what he was doing.”
People learn practical stuff through this class that they use in their day-to-day life, said Victoria Braggiotti, the recreation specialist with the Midway Park Community Center.
Sgt. Jaclyn Carson, with Combat Logistics Regiment 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, came to the class after her husband, Sgt. Chase Carson, with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, saw information on it and signed the two up.
“It’s a new year and we’re picking up healthy eating,” said Jaclyn.
Chase found the class informative and helpful.
The cooking classes are in their second year and were created due to customer request.
“We talked to customers and listened to their needs and wants,” said Braggiotti. “Every month, we change it. It’s not the same thing all the time.”
Future classes include a class on romantic breakfasts in bed, and party food for Saint Patrick’s Day.
The food for the classes is bought at the commissary.
“The fact that we buy everything there means that we can tell them where to get their hands on it,” said Braggiotti. “They don’t have to worry about standing at the grocery store unsure of where to find something.”
Rademann began working with Marine Corps Community Services through Maynia, an annual festival aboard the base. When a teacher was needed for the cooking class, he jumped at the opportunity.
“I love giving back to the military community,” said Rademann. “I feel great about it. My dad’s a retired Marine, so I grew up with this. I have so much respect for service members. I do whatever I can for them.”