By: Samantha Brazeau-Wilson

The smells of garlic and garden greens filled the air with a comforting aroma as nearly 40 students and guests attended the semi-annual culinary workshop held by the Algonquin Students’ Association Sept. 25.

The event is put on every semester in order to teach students how to cook with healthy and affordable ingredients in a fun and safe environment, and to cook food that has multiple possibilities for leftovers.

The meals that were prepared included garlic-infused chicken with roasted vegetables and a red Thai chicken curry stir-fry that can both serve as great food for an entire week.

“Mostly, it’s to give students a chance to have fun doing something outside of class at the college,” said Andrew Skorzewski, culinary skills professor. “But also it’s a good opportunity for us to show them how to cook with simple, fresh ingredients and to cook simple, healthy meals that is really tasty and fast.”

Skorzewski began the workshop by stressing the importance of safety while in the kitchen, like the proper handling of knives and hand washing.

He then proceeded to do quick demonstrations of how to prepare the main ingredients then left the rest up to chefs-in-training.

A reccurring theme was giving the students independence while preparing their meals. Skorzewski told the event volunteers not to interfere unless a student was doing something unsafe or unsanitary.

This enabled the students to get the full experience as if they were at home doing it themselves.

The people that attended the workshop varied from non-experienced cooks to connoisseurs looking to improve their culinary prowess.

“I’ve never cooked with coconut milk,” said Anastassia Lesun, second-year business administration student. “We cook Russian food at home so it’s going to be a new experience.”

Another guest, Eloisa Veliz Casado, attended the event to learn new things and said she cooks a lot at home and wanted to bring some more ideas and skills to try out in her kitchen.

The event lasted two hours and by the end students were packing up their meals to bring home take-out containers provided by the SA.

In addition to getting to eat their meals, each student received a recipe book that included a meal plan for an entire week, and recipes for the meals they learned to make at the workshop.

Primarily aimed at students who live on campus or have recently moved away from home, Skorzewski has noticed a trend from year to year being that the fall semester is more popular than it is in the winter.

He said it could be related to the time of year where students are trying new things as the new school year begins.