Michigan Conference initiative born during the pandemic is attracting a faithful following.
Food can change lives. It can heal, injure, or make or break someone’s health. It’s a major part of the Adventist health message and something that the church pioneered.
On that principle, the collaborative efforts of Camp Cuisine, a food ministry operated at Michigan Conference’s Camp Au Sable by renowned chef Miguel Larcher, and the 13th Street Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cadillac, Michigan, United States, has borne fruit. It is an online cooking show titled Home Cooking with Chef Miguel Larcher.
The cooking show was introduced out of necessity. Robert Benson, pastor of the 13th Street Seventh-day Adventist 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 current 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. Before 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, the 13th Street church launched its first season of Home Cooking in February 2021.
The monthly demonstrations have been received well by many across Michigan and the Lake Union church region. Viewers span 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 than what was originally anticipated when we first started planning!” Benson said.
Each show features a different dish and health focus and has practical health lectures by Nadine Larcher, a student Nurse Practitioner, during the cooking intermission. “It’s always exciting to see what we are going to do each month!” Emily Graham, co-host and cooking student, said. “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 related to the spiritual aspect of 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 its second season on September 7.
“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 more information or watch previous episodes of Home Cooking by visiting the Camp Cuisine site and also on YouTube and Facebook. The next live episode is scheduled for October 12, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. EDT.
The original version of this story was posted on the Michigan Conference news site.