Alumna chef cooks with science class


Jamie Gwen ’92 teaches one of her original dessert recipes to students enrolled in molecular gastronomy. Photo printed with permission of Harry Salamandra

Claire Keller

Celebrity chef Jamie Gwen ’92 displayed her culinary skills during a molecular gastronomy class Jan. 7 taught by Senior Alumni Officer Harry Salamandra.

A long-time acquaintance of Salamandra’s, Gwen taught students to make dairy-free banana ice cream, palmiers and homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. These recipes are featured on the Food and Drink App by Microsoft.

“I think it went incredibly. I think she connected well with the students and had a lot of fun as well. Truthfully, it was a win-win situation for both her and the class,” Salamandra said.

This was Gwen’s first time instructing at the school, making it special for the four senior students that attended the seminar.

“It was really interesting to hear her backstory, how she went to culinary school right after graduating Harvard-Westlake and became interested in cooking,” Hannah Wilen ’16 said.

After graduating from HW, Gwen continued to The Culinary Institute of America in New York where she studied to become a professional chef. She is not only a “Cutthroat Kitchen” winner but has also served as a Judge for Fox TV’s Master Chef, with Gordon Ramsey, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. She has shared her recipes in her four cookbooks and her weekly radio show.

“Jamie Gwen was amazing and it was definitely great to see an alum who followed her passion for food and really took it to the next level. The best thing we made was tied between the homemade [hazelnut spread] and the one ingredient banana ice cream,” Miles Mcqueen ’16 said. “She’s also very personable, which made the class a blast. I also loved hearing about her own personal experiences with my childhood hero, Emeril Lagasse. Overall it was a great time.”