ASES students celebrate culinary arts graduation
By Sue Tiffin
Published Jan. 18, 2018
Dinner was served at the Minden Community Kitchen on Jan. 10, after a group of proud and excited Grade 8 students greeted guests – their equally enthusiastic parents and family.
The delicious dining experience marked the end of an eight-week program in which the 41 Archie Stouffer Elementary School (ASES) students learned how to make a budget for groceries, prep food and plan nutritious meals with the help of community volunteers. To celebrate, the two groups of students (a different meal was served by the other half of the class the previous night) planned a menu, shopped for ingredients at Dollo’s Foodland, worked magic in the kitchen and served the fruits (and chicken, potatoes, broccoli and pineapple cake) of their labour to their very willing taste testers.
“It’s been such a success,” said Marilynne Lesperance, of the Minden Community Food Centre, who encountered some students who struggled to identify celery, or said that they don’t usually have cucumbers at their house, causing her to say of the program, “There’s a need.”
Program graduate Olivia Johnson said the experience had been fun.
“Before, I couldn’t cook Kraft Dinner on the stove – now I can, but we also learned how to make healthier options that everyone can enjoy,” she said. She was looking forward to using her newfound skills more at home, as was her family.
Lesperance thanked Monsanto and the Ontario Association Food Bank for their grant that helped fund the program, the Haliburton Bus Lines for transporting the students from school to kitchen, ASES staff and the volunteers who participated alongside the students.