Cooking students taking it to the next level

Posted on Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Six participants from Participate Australia had the happiest of smiles on their faces at their graduation ceremony after completing their $20,000 Canterbury League Club sponsored advanced cooking program.

Participate Australia provides a range of disability services and works with people with disabilities to help them develop their skills to lead them to greater independence.

All six had previously completed a six-week introductory cooking program with Canterbury Executive Chef Stephanie Azar earlier in the year. Then they came back for round two in the kitchens:

“There were lots of participants who expressed an interest to do more classes because they had learnt so much from the first classes and had enjoyed it a lot. So rather than repeat the same class, we came up with the idea of doing an advanced cooking class,” said Andrea Natoli, Partnerships and Development Manager for Participate Australia.

In the advanced classes, participants were put through their paces and learned to make more complex recipes like muffins, cookies, dumplings, stir-fry noodles, zucchini fritters, pizza and pies. This time these classes focused more on knife skills, preparation and individually making the recipes on their own with minimal assistance.

Aside from cooking, they also honed their practical life skills like counting, weighing ingredients, reading the recipe, grocery shopping and handling money, group communication, socialisation and teamwork. A program like this is beneficial as it shows participants how they can use these skills in a real life, everyday environment.

“There was a greater confidence in the team this time around and a lot of improvement in knife skills and the quality of the finished product. Overall, I am super proud of them all!” said Stephanie Azar.