By: Molly Hanzidiakou

The preparations begin.  Large trays full of fresh vegetables, cleaned and ready to be used for the night’s activity, are placed at each station.

A large trolley full of shiny pots and pans is wheeled into the kitchen and set to one side.  Each dish for the evening is based around the main ingredient, beef.

Students begin to come into the kitchen.

It’s Jan. 14 and the eagerly awaited culinary workshop for Algonquin students begins.

The event is designed to teach students how to make quick, simple meals on the cheap.  Something an average student would understand.

“I came last year and loved it so I told people to come this time.  I’ve been waiting to see the poster for the next year since the last one,” says Chris Wardle, a robotics student at Algonquin.

Andrew Skorzewski is the head chef for the workshop.  He plans to teach the students multiple meals that are simple to prepare.

“A few hours should produce about a week’s worth of meals,” says Skorzewski.  “Most people when cooking at home don’t have a lot of expertise.  They want it to be relatively simple.”

Skorzewski breaks down the recipe and demonstrates proper cooking techniques at the front of the class.  Students would then go back to their stations and try to recreate what was just shown to them.

No one, however, could chop onions as fast as the head chef.  Skorzewski’s culinary skills were on display when, even as he answered questions, he didn’t need to look down to see if his large knife was anywhere close to his hand.

Throughout the workshop Skorzewski walks around the kitchen giving students advice on how to make their spaghetti or fajitas that much better.

While Skorzewski makes his way around to each group, Filippo Principato, a culinary management student at Algonquin, continues cooking and helping at the front.

“I love cooking,” said Principato.

Even though Principato is in his first-year, he is very relaxed while cooking and answering students’ questions.

Brittany Oates also helps out at the workshop.  She is a first year culinary arts student.  Oates helps students solve what seems to be a very difficult task of figuring out which herb was cilantro and which one was parsley.  In the end, it came down to trying each one and tasting the difference between the two.

“Being able to make something and see people enjoy it is the best part,” says Oates.

Every student left the workshop with large containers filled with the meals that would last them a week and new skills that would last even longer.