Sodexo’s Cooking with Chef Mike a huge hit
Cooking classes help students learn a life skill and have fun doing it
StFX students had a wonderful treat recently, and it was more than just the Caesar salad, steak Diane and peppered strawberries on their plates. It was a chance to participate in Cooking with Chef Mike, a Sodexo marketing initiative that has proven to be a tremendous hit.
Eighteen students (a 100 per cent attendance rate) arrived at 7 p.m. sharp to the state-of-the-art show kitchen in Governors Hall for an engaging and complimentary demonstration that covered all of the culinary basics. Terminology and techniques were introduced to students through sauté, flambé, reduction, as demonstrated with each culinary classic dish.
The evening culminated with the group sitting down to enjoy the meal. It received rave reviews. As did the Sodexo cooking class initiative.
“Sodexo Campus Food Service has become greater that just providing a meal at meal time. It has become an experience,” says Imelda Reynolds of Sodexo. “Sodexo Campus Food Service each year has a national as well as campus level marketing plan with a wide range of special events and marketing initiatives designed to enhance the overall experience of student life.
“This year we introduced the cooking class to help students learn a life skill and have fun doing it. Cooking 101 was introduced with the following mandates 1) to introduce our own executive chef on campus, Michael Pollock, 2) to teach students how to have fun with flavours and create delicious meals 3) to teach students basic culinary techniques, 4) how to purchase key ingredients on a budget, what can be substituted or not 5) essential tools for the kitchen and how to use them and 6) health and safety in the kitchen.”
After the meal, each student was asked two skill testing question and upon responding with the correct answers received the Sodexo Great Job Certificate. The certificate was wrapped as a scroll and included the evening menu, and a cooking thermometer, complete with temperature chart and calibration instructions.
The evening concluded at 9 p.m. with a loud round of applause. Less than 24 hours later the class was rebooked for the next week with another 18 participants.
On that night, the menu featured maple glazed curried chicken, Cantonese chicken stir fry and chicken cordon bleu.
This class of students learned the benefit of buying a whole chicken, better value on a student budget. They were shown how to debone and create a series of dishes using the entire chicken.
Cooking with Chef Mike continues in March in a slightly different format, with a session entitled Apartment 101: Cooking Apartment Style With Chef Mike. Sodexo will take students to the kitchen at the Atlantic SuperStore, where they will provide participants with a list of essential ingredients and tools required for apartment style living, ending with a demonstration of healthy, delicious and simple quick meal ideas on a student budget.