Annette Hinton Instructs BUGS Students in Healthy Nutrition, Chinese Cooking

The Math SPA kitchen filled with Asian aromas as Hall County Master Gardener and dietician Annette Hinton was instructing students of the BUGS garden club on Jan. 24. Hinton showed the characteristics of different Chinese foods from eight different regions with special consideration for the Provinces of Anhui, Sichuan and Shandong.

“We’re very fortunate to have a workshop held by a professional chef who is also a dietician as well as a Master Gardener,” said Rudi Kiefer, faculty advisor to BUGS.

Following the presentation, students and guests gained hands-on experience with authentic Chinese vegetables. Visiting Master Gardeners assisted with the cooking, and soon everybody enjoyed a large variety of dishes that are normally available only in upscale Chinese restaurants. “Every last bit is organically grown and free of chemicals,” said Hinton. “It’s important for students to learn about healthy nutrition at a young age.”

“It’s fascinating to see foods from our home province prepared by a Master Chef,” junior Liang Yuan said. Yuan is in the 2+2 program between Brenau and Anhui Normal University. The meals were accompanied by Chinese green tea that Kiefer brought back from his last teaching stay in Anhui Province.

Hannah Rucks-Zaoui, Brenau senior and president of the garden club, said “the most exciting part is that the students got to choose which Asian vegetables we’re going to start growing now in the campus garden. Come fall, we’ll have home-cooked meals with food grown right here at Brenau.”

The next BUGS “Healthy Living” event will feature local beekeeper Bob Bradbury with a presentation about the production of raw, additive-free honey, along with taste samples. The presentation is at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in Science-21 and is open to the public.