Grade 8 student James Langille wins 7S Master Chef Competition
Eating on a budget is an essential skill for students to learn. While at home, most children enjoy the freedoms provided for them, such as food, shelter, and other necessities. However, once leaving the creature comforts of home, knowing how to juggle finances can be the difference between hungry and satisfied.
Food and nutrition are essential commodities. We all have favourite foods and dishes to eat, so learning to cook provides the ability to make the preferred foods in a preferred way. Students at Seven Summits Centre For Learning participated in a three-month-long Culinary Arts Workshop to learn the basics of cooking, ingredients, economical eating, menu creation, nutrition, and shopping.
Starting with singular ingredients such as potatoes, eggs, dairy, tomato, flour, corn, and beans, the students practiced reading recipes and creating dishes from around the globe. These activities allowed students to learn safety, correct use of cooking utensils, personalization of flavours, and how to present the dishes using creative plating and garnishes. Finally, learners ate the dishes they created or took them home to their families.
Nutritional topics such as food groups, fuel sources, and micronutrients in the dishes were explored by students to gain a greater depth of understanding. For example, the egg is 100 per cent a biologically available protein source that provides all essential amino acids. An egg can be used in many dishes and is inexpensively eaten for any meal. Eggs are also nutritionally diverse, providing vitamins and minerals. In addition to the nutrient, calories, and fuel scorecard, students learn how these nutrients relate to building healthy bodies and protecting the immune system.
For the second portion of the Culinary Arts Workshop, the students learned about common foods from various international places. These countries’ culinary history, origins, and traditions and their populations were reviewed by students. For example, students made handmade pasta during Italian week, later cooking it into a saucy dish. Likewise, they created handmade tortillas during the Mexican week, subsequently turning them into a Mexican dish of choice. These classes teach hands-on learning with long-term takeaway skills.
The community mentor Tara Hauck, who facilitates these classes, says, “as a nutritionist, I think it is important to teach young people about food and introduce them to the notion that they are in control of their health by being educated about what they are choosing to consume. Personal choice starts with knowing that you have a choice and then being able to feed yourself on a diet you can afford. Basic ingredients mixed with simple skills can reduce costs and improve overall nutrition. Learning to cook and self-sufficiency skills are critical at any age, so best to start in high school.”
Grade 8 student James Langille won the 7S Master Chef Competition, whidh was judged by the senior students, and he won for his creativity and impressive presentation.