By: Patrick Smith

Blaire Henshaw shows off her chicken breast before putting it in the oven. Rosemary chicken was the recipe used in the Algonquin SAO culinary workshop.


The saying goes: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. At Algonquin, maybe it should be revised to say: if you can’t take the heat, get into the kitchen.

The college played host to a culinary workshop on Sept. 16, aiming to teach students to make quick, healthy food that won’t take a bite out of their wallets.

The workshop, organized by the Student Affairs and Orientation department, saw 24 students cook meals under the guidance of chef and instructor Andrew Skorzewski.

“I think that a lot of students come and they don’t really know how to shop and how to cook and how easy it can be and how fun it can be,” he said. “You kind of open their eyes to the possibilities that are out there.”

Calling on his teaching experience at Algonquin, Skorzewski captivated participants by putting them at ease as they cooked.

Simplicity was the name of the game, as Skorzewski did his best to showcase how easy cooking can be. Throughout the event, students were shown tricks to make their food more flavourful, healthier and cheaper without sacrificing quality.

First-year respiratory therapy student Brittany Cain noted that one trick in particular resonated with her.

“You can make food in bulk and save it for later to feed yourself through the week,” she said.

With healthy eating moving to the forefront of many peoples’ minds, the event was unsurprisingly well-attended. For many people living in residence, like first-year design studies student Erin Gardiner, it’s their first experience living on their own and healthy eating habits can quickly give way to take-out and ramen noodles.

“This is my first time not living at home anymore, and so I’m not used to cooking,” she said. “I thought this would be a great experience and so far this is great.”

Although healthy eating was important to her, she was quick to admit that it’s tough to escape the junk food stereotype of living in residence.
“So far, it hasn’t went that well,” she said with a laugh, “so I thought I’d try something different.”

Second-year robotics student Chris Wardle agreed that students should strive to eat better, saying that at 53 years old, healthy eating is an even bigger concern for him.

“It’s too easy to pick up a pizza or something like that,” he said. “Cooking is easy and the techniques they’ve been teaching us here are pretty cool. I learn something new every time I come.”

The workshop was the third visit for Wardle and the fifth one Skorzewski has hosted. The fact that the workshops routinely sell out indicates that the college is pleased with the results.

“You pay five bucks and you get to come and cook all this food and then take it home with you,” Skorzewski said. “The cost of the ingredients alone is at least $10 per student. It couldn’t get any better than that, right?”