Health and Counseling Center offers new cooking classes

By Courtney Warta | December 6, 2017 2:14pm

For the first time ever Bon App is teaching students how to cook for themselves. On the menu for them tonight was Stir Fry.
by Sarah Varney / The Beacon

Students, 24 of them to be exact, bustle around the large, industrial-looking kitchen in the Bauccio Commons. Some learn knife techniques and chop vegetables while others flip meat on the grill and begin adding fresh ingredients to the sizzling pans. After an hour and a half of combined efforts and preparation, the smell of stir-fry wafts through the air, with each student having their own individual dish.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Bon Appetit and the Health and Counseling Center partnered to host the first, of potentially many, cooking classes. A second was held on Nov. 15. The class was only offered to nursing students enrolled in a nutrition course. The demonstration was taught by three Bon Appetit chefs and had been free to students, but according to Bon Appetit, ingredient cost coverages are still being sorted out. Tiger Simpson, Wellness Education and Prevention Program Coordinator, said the program is available for any student group that expresses interest.

“Last year we tried this program before and we opened it up to all of campus and it wasn’t a success, so we are trying to do individualized groups,” Simpson said. “Right now we’re starting with this nursing class who’s studying nutrition. It’s the name of the course, so it makes sense. But then our goal in the long term is then to do specific outreach to key places on campus.”

For the first time ever Bon App is teaching students how to cook for themselves. On the menu for them tonight was Stir Fry.
by Sarah Varney / The Beacon

According to Simpson, the ultimate goal of of the demonstration was to teach students how to cook something simple that could be made on or off-campus with limited equipment and supplies. The practicality of the recipe makes it more likely that students will attempt to cook in their living areas. 

“I really need to learn how to cook,” Ngantranh Nguyen, a sophomore nursing student, said. “I wanted to take a class when I was younger but my dad didn’t let me. So this was a good opportunity to learn how to cook and not be ashamed that I don’t know how to cook.”

Nguyen also commented on the simplicity of the recipe and the behind the scenes of the Bon Appetit process. Meeting the chefs made her realize how passionate and talented they are. 

“It’s always a treat for us to have students come in here and see what we do and show them what’s actually going on back here,” Cubby Hafford, Bon App chef, said.

Although the demonstration was only available to these nursing students, Simpson encourages groups to reach out to the Health and Counseling Center if the group would like to be a part of a cooking class. 

“So if people are interested in it, it’s not that we won’t do it for outside things. It’s just that we’re partnering with people to make it successful,” Simpson said.  “So if people were like ‘Oh I wanted to go but I’m not in this class.’ Great! I will set it up for your hall, I will set it up for off-campus people, I’ll set it up for your friend group or whatever is going to work. Just let us know.”

This food demonstration is the first of multiple life skill classes the Health and Counseling Center will be offering. Though the classes have not been finalized, subjects will potentially include how to pay taxes, paying rent, buying a car and changing tires.