GRAYLING, MI—Food can change lives. It can heal, injure, make, or break someone’s health. It’s a major part of our health message, and something that our church pioneered.
On that principle, the collaborative efforts of Camp Cuisine, a food ministry operated at Camp Au Sable by renowned Chef Miguel Larcher, and the 13th Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cadillac, Michigan, has borne fruit: an online cooking show, titled “Home Cooking with Chef Miguel Larcher”.
The cooking show was introduced out of necessity. Pastor Robert Benson, the pastor of the 13th Street Church, envisioned having a cooking class in his church and inviting the surrounding community to attend. But with Northern Michigan’s COVID-19 case numbers surging in early 2021, Benson was concerned about planning in-person events. As everyone learned during the early stages of the pandemic, if you can’t do an in-person event, you can always do one online! Girded with this concept, he shared his vision of an online cooking class with Chef Miguel Larcher, former restaurateur, and food service director at Camp Au Sable.
Larcher is not new to the idea of cooking classes. He was born in Fort De France, Martinique, and was trained in vegetarian cuisine in France. Larcher has served in many restaurants and universities throughout France, Germany, and the United States. Prior to coming to Michigan as the Food Service Director for Camp Au Sable, he owned the famous Garden Grill Café in Wichita, Kansas. He has conducted numerous cooking classes all over the United States and abroad, including South Africa, and Botswana, and often receives requests to present at churches across Michigan. With Larcher on board, they launched into their first season of “Home Cooking” in February.
The demonstrations, held monthly, have been received well by many across Michigan and the Lake Union. Viewers span across the region and even into Canada. Notably, several from the local community in Grayling and Cadillac have also tuned in. “We have cultivated a following that has a much broader region then what was originally anticipated when we first started planning!” exclaimed Benson. Each show features a different dish and health focus, and has sage, practical health lectures by Nadine Larcher, Nurse Practioner student, during the cooking intermission. “It’s always exciting to see what we are going to do each month!” says Emily Graham, co-host, and cooking student. “We always have a lot of fun doing this, and we hope our viewers have just as much fun.”
Another important aspect of health is spiritual health. At the beginning of each episode, Benson presents a lesson that relates to the spiritual aspect of health. It’s an essential element to all things, and it’s even more relevant with health. “At the end of the day, if we aren't introducing people to a personal and saving relationship with the One who created our bodies for good health, we are wasting our time.” Benson noted.
After a short summer hiatus, the show returned to live production for their second season on September 7th. “We’re really excited to be back!” Larcher said, and that was a sentiment echoed by the rest of the production team. They have planned breakfast courses for the first few episodes of this season, such as Larcher’s famous scrambled breakfast tofu, roasted rosemary potatoes, and more. You can find out more information about Camp Cuisine or watch previous episodes of “Home Cooking” by visiting their website, www.campcuisine.org. You can also find them on YouTube and Facebook. Their next live episode is scheduled for October 12 at 6:30pm EDT. “We hope you’ll join us!”