Ed Hurst, commonly known as Chef Ed, comes to work each day in his cook uniform. He uses his 32 years of experience in culinary art to make delicious food for students at BYU-Idaho.
But Chef Ed doesn’t keep all his cooking tips to himself. He enjoys getting involved with the students
on campus and has spent many hours sharing his talents with them.
“About a year and a half ago, I began to give cooking classes,” Chef Ed said. “Anyone is free to attend. There is no registration or fee. The classes are held in The Crossroads. We set up the stage and chairs theater-style with a big screen TV. Our best turnout was about 150 people.”
Kyle Slaughter, a junior studying political science, often helped Chef Ed with the classes last year.
.“There was a lot of interest in the classes, and we had good turnouts from students and community members,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter became involved with Chef Ed’s cooking classes while working for Food Services as their student promotions coordinator.
“Our purpose was to teach students how to prepare high-quality foods for less money,” Slaughter said.
During the classes, Chef Ed teaches students to prepare flavorful food using recipes he created. Each person who attends the class not only gets a copy of the recipe, but also gets to sample
Chef Ed’s food.
“These are the things that keep it positive for the students,” Chef Ed said. “I enjoyed the interaction between the crowd and the food. Food is one of those things that bring people together, and these classes were no exception.
“It gave people the chance to see a pro really get involved with the food, ask questions and have a great experience,” Slaughter said.
Chef Ed explained that he didn’t start cooking when he was first employed in the food industry. Rather, when he started working for Howard Johnson in 1970, he washed dishes for three months.
“From there I came up the ranks. I was taught by some executive chefs in the business,” Chef Ed said.
Chef Ed has worked in the food industry for several organizations during the past three decades including four dude ranches, three golf clubs, the army, Strater Hotel in Durango, Colo., and several other hotels. While working for the army, he received the Chef of the Year award for two consecutive years. Chef Ed ranked in second place the first year, then first place the next.
Chef Ed explained that his road to working for BYU-I Food Services began when he met his wife, Marla Jo.
“I am a convert. I met my wife online. We’ve been married for nine years. You wouldn’t recognize me if you saw what I looked like then. I had a beard and long hair. At first I had no intention of converting. But as I listened to the missionaries, I thought, ‘why not?’ So I got baptized,” Chef Ed said.
Later, when he was looking for work, a friend suggested he apply with Food Services at BYU-I.
“I love working at BYU-Idaho. The cooks in the kitchen work together as a team. I have been so blessed to work with such great fellow employees and friends,” Chef Ed said.
Dates of Chef Ed’s classes and recipes from previous classes are posted online at www.byui.edu/FoodServices. He plans to give the next class in late February.