From left, Kelly O'Sullivan, Jody-Ann Dixon, Omagie Eshilama, Kelly MacMillan, chef Cindy, Matthew Zinck, Stephine Ricker, Zhonghui Lin, and Liz Clarke.

Students gathered in the culinary room on Feb. 26 to participate in the Caribbean cooking class being held in honour of Black History Month.

Traditional Caribbean dishes that were made by the students included plantain chips, fish cakes, spinach patties, Barbadian coconut sweet bread and coconut ice cream.

“I love Caribbean food, I love anything that has to do with spices and honestly, I just wanted to see chef Cindy’s take on the recipes,” said Algonquin culinary student Omagie Eshilama who was there to lend a hand.

Chef Cynthia Toffanello, mainly known as chef Cindy, is the only female chef in the culinary management program here at Algonquin. With her husband being from Barbados, she’s used to cooking these dishes at home.

She welcomed the class of about 12 students in the kitchen and started off with an introduction on the dishes and some of the ingredients that they’d be using. The students were paired off into teams, with each in charge of a specific dish.

“Surprisingly this month they’ve made a great effort to put more Black History Month events at the school so I’d say it’s definitely an increase from last year,” said Liz Clarke, a Barbadian student.

Toffanello was everywhere at once, helping students left and right and answering everybody’s questions. She joined them once all the food was made, enjoying the meal they cooked themselves. She thanked Allison Barnes and the Student’s Association for holding this event and hopes to be teaching more classes like this one.

“I always say your knife takes you where you want to go, so if you stay sharp you’ll go far,” Toffanello said.