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june 6, 2013



Recipe foR

SUCCESS photo by Katie Asch

Cooking teacher Jon Orren uses his past experiences to draft new lessons and enhance his class Sophia Fisher & Maia Fefer

read; he’s very knowledgeable,” she said. In Daurio’s opinion, Orren is very invested in his field. “In his work, you can see his passion,” Daurio said. “Just hearing him talk about his life in the food industry and what he has done, his eyes lit up,” Daurio said. “He seemed really excited and wanted to share that. He wanted to share his joy of food and cooking with everyone else.” Dolan agreed. “He’s really, really passionate. He loves what he does. He loves teaching kids about food,” she said. Orren said that working with students is rewarding for him. “Teaching is that area that I really find invigorating,” he said “It’s great to see those ‘aha’ moments where someone realizes that they’ve done something right...To watch a student expe-

numerous restaurants here in the Boston area.” Yet after many years, Orren realized that cooking in restaurants was not the life for him. Such long hours and juggling so many dishes at the same time exhausted him, he said. “Restaurant work is really long hours… On the mental side of it, you also have to be the type of person that has a strong organizational mind,” Orren said. “There is certain type of person that thrives in that situation. They sort of thrive in adrenaline…What I found is when things would get really busy, I would get a little bit flustered. It got to the point where it was causing me anxiety.” After working in many restaurants, Orren experimented with many various

things I should look at or people I should talk to,” he said. Several students agree that Orren Features Editors has a vast knowledge on an array of topThe scent of students’ cooking is ics, especially cooking. “He just seems to rarely limited to Jon Orren’s classroom, have a very comprehensive knowledge of the smells regularly extending to adjacent things,” senior Dan Kaufman, leader of classrooms and higher floors. the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), When students need help mastering said. “Whenever you broach a subject with a certain recipe, South’s cooking teacher him, he has some knowledge of it and Mr. Orren offers not only his cooking some vantage point on it.” expertise but also his support with an Eventually finding a job at the extensive knowledge of and passion for American Jewish World Service, Orren cooking. helped run grants programs in Russia and Orren succeeds in making classes Ukraine. “We would give money to sort applicable to everyone regardless of their of small community project that were skill level in cooking, according to senior addressing issues of human rights of civil Ana Daurio, aspiring chef and teaching society or education or community develassistant. in Orren’s International Cuisine opment,” he said. “So that’s a whole other class, said. “I think he gives side of my career that people both [aspiring chefs and don’t really know about.” Teaching is that area that I really find invigorating. It’s great to regular students] what they Orren is also interneed,” Daurio said. “And ested in a wide variety of see those ‘aha’ moments where someone realizes that they’ve done most people, including me, activities, especially outdoor something right... To watch a student experience that is so fulfilling. tend to be really comfortable hobbies. “I love [gardening] BY YOONCHAN CHOI in the classroom and I think and other hobbies. I enjoy - Jon Orren, Family and Consumer Science teacher it is really fun. No one is bebike riding. I do a lot of ing left behind.” camping. I love games,” he Orren’s welcoming personality is rience that is so fulfilling.” cooking jobs, from catering and writing said. “Even as an adult I have friends where very helpful for connecting with and Orren’s passion for cooking perfor food publications to owning a pickle we get together for game night.” teaching students, Jennifer Dolan, a fellow haps began in his youth, when he started company named Wheelhouse Pickles. Orren’s passion for bettering his teacher in the Family and Consumer Scicooking, according the Orren. With both Orren majored in Russian at Colum- community, nature and innovation conences department, said. “He’s extremely pa- parents at work until late in the day, Orren bia University and used his Russian skills tinues on today, according to Dolan. “He’s tient. He just has a very calm personality,” would frequently have to prepare food for at a job supporting human rights. “Human creating two new classes for next year, and she said. “And I think that’s really imporhimself. rights was always a really strong passion of [S.A.P.] has really flourished,” she said. “He tant when you’re working with teenagers, At first, he made whatever was easimine. I was going to college [in New York takes these small ideas and makes them that he can be really patient.” est and most convenient, but he soon grew City] and there were a lot of human rights really great and makes them happen.” Freshman Marie Strasser, who is bored and curious about other culinary organizations and other social justice nonAlthough Orren has worked at South visiting from Germany for the second options. “I started cooking kind of by neprofit organizations...I searched around for just three years, he has already created semester, said that Orren is a thorough cessity. I would be forced to fend for myself looking for some that were in need of a three new programs: the Culinary Arts teacher. “He explains things so much that and get snacks. At first I made easy stuff, Russian speaker,” he said. Exploratory, where students can learn to you cannot not understand him,” she said. like microwavable pizza. Then...I would Orren now uses his knowledge of the run a real restaurant as well as cook for it, “He is very passionate about food and start making things I saw on T.V., improfood industry to help a range of students, a Chemistry in Cooking class and an Interinteresting to listen to.” vising stir-fry,” he said. Baurio said. “He has been kind of like a mediate International Cuisine program. Dolan agreed with Strasser. “He’s As Orren grew older, his interest in mentor to me, even more than a teacher… Two years ago, Orren also helped really [educated] when it comes to culinary food turned into a career. “I’ve done a lot he has also helped me learn more about start S.A.P., a group of [topics]. He’s very academic—he likes to of cooking in restaurants. I’ve cooked at the industry and gave me advice on what about 20 students who ORREN, 12