By Christopher Nuzzo, Contributor
If you are a student living on campus, you may have strolled past the home kitchen in Locke’s Loft a few times on the way to get your morning coffee. But how many students could actually pick up a pot or pan, and actually make themselves a meal?
The sad truth is that many college students lack the culinary skill to even boil an egg.
Brian Weinstein, manager of Gourmet Dining, is ready to put a stop to the epidemic that is culinary illiteracy.
On Sept. 20, Gourmet Dining held one of its biannual cooking classes. An announcement was made on Student Engagement’s Instagram with the caption, “Cook like a PRO! Sign up now”, along with fliers around Locke’s Loft. Aspiring chefs were taught how to make garlic sautéed shrimp, doing everything from the cleaning and prep, to the cooking itself. The student-chefs also baked banana bread from scratch.
“We incorporated Fair Trade ingredients for Fair Trade awareness/education to kick off Fair Trade Month in October,” said Weinstein “Gourmet Dining purchased chef coats for all participants to use and keep after the event.”
Chemical engineering senior Stephanie Butron reflected on her experience, saying, “I think learning to cook is more than just learning to make good food. When you’re in the kitchen, everything relies on what ingredients you choose to put in, and what method you choose to cook with. That kind of experience teaches you to be more mindful of your choices, both in and out of the kitchen.”
When asked about whether he would recommend the class to others, Riazur Rahaman, a freshman computer science major, said, “[after] having a wonderful experience in that cooking class, I would highly recommend students to take part and learn some new cooking skills, because food is the best language to express… It’s free food. Need I say more?”
Weinstein stressed that having cooking skills is necessary: “It’s a very important part of life. As college is the last step for most before entering the work world, we find it best that the community learns some culinary education as well. It will be a lifetime memory that you will always look back on.”
These classes had an impact on students who chose to attend, as some were able to pick up specific skills in the kitchen from sautéing to working with seafood. As Butron said, “I definitely think the skills I learned will stick with me for a long time.”
The cooking classes are put on once a semester, and to be a part of the experience, all you need to do is sign up. Cooking is an art form, and an integral part of becoming an adult. In the wise words of Brian Weinstein, “Cook with passion, love, happiness, and most importantly, have fun.”