Cooking Skills Valuable During Pandemic


screenshot of @chef_jackson_cooks on Instagram

Jackson Brus ('20) posts images of the gourmet food he makes on his instagram account @chef_jackson_cooks. His caption for this meal in June is "Tonkatsu ramen with jelly duck egg, enoki, tatsoi, nori and fresh soba noodles. This is easily the most labor intensive dish I've ever made, the bone broth had to be simmered for 12 hours and soba noodles are an entirely different beast than the egg pasta I usually make. In spite of all that, I loved every step of the process and I was thrilled with the final product."

Logan Eriksen

Covid-19 closed school and shut down activities; however, for the students taking Foods class and Menu and Nutrition planning the closings gave their cooking skills purpose.

Considering that cooking could be done anywhere, it was easy for consumer and family science teacher Trista Lynner to assign and credit her students’ work via their cooking. “Nutrition and Menu Planning class was challenged to do some cooking on their own. This class was graded as it is dual credit with Kirkwood so students were given participation points for sending me a picture of what they made and telling me what they made,” Lynner said.

Jackson Brus (’20) is working in an Americorps position at Olivet Mission in Cedar Rapids. He is working to prevent hunger. (Tori Barnes-Brus)

The students could cook anything for themselves or for other people.

“I have been continuing to cook seriously since the pandemic started,” said senior Jackson Brus. “I really just love cooking and creating a composed dish out of the fresh ingredients that are available right now,” he said.

Brus created an Instagram account @chef_jackson_cooks to showcase his gourmet cooking.

Also with all this time, Brus has been making all sorts of dishes that take more effort and time like fresh pasta, homemade cheese, french macrons, and this list goes on.

All of Lynner’s students have been making wonderful things to pass time, and they all love it, especially Lynner. “I really enjoyed seeing my students cooking pictures and chatting via email about what they made and how yummy the food looked,” Lynner said.


In June, Jackson Brus sold dumplings for $1 each to raise money for The Movement for Black Lives, a nationwide organization that fights for equality and for Minnesota Voice, acoalition of groups fighting systemic racism. In this post, Brus talks about his love of dumplings. (screenshot of @chef_jackson_cooks on Instagram)