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Recipe for success as construction students swap trowels for spatulas

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  • News date: Feb '22
  • News author: Liam Waite
A man demonstrates how to cook to a group of students

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A FIVE-WEEK course in key cooking skills has been served up for students at Lakes College alongside their studies.

Every Wednesday for five weeks, learners from the Foundation in Construction Skills course have been taught how to cook simple, cheap meals in hands-on workshops.

The sessions, which have included learning about the origins of assorted foods from France, India and the USA, have been led by lecturer Paul Cullen, who has also encouraged the students to cook the meals at home to hone their skills.

The aim is to provide people with independent living skills which can help them both in their career and in life, with meals so far including omelette, curry, and burgers ­- and pancakes are next on the menu.

Paul said: “We seem to have developed a takeaway culture in this country and a lot of the learners are very lacking in confidence when it comes to the kitchen.

“I think if you show somebody how to put a meal together that they can cook and eat on their own, it can change that mindset when they see how easy and cheap it can be.

“One lad told me that he had gone home and cooked an omelette for his mum after the session and I think that is a success.

“We talk about where the food comes from and I think they’ve really enjoyed it.”

The sessions started in January 2022 with an initial group, with plans for more than 40 students to take part eventually.

Logan Connor, who is one of the students experimenting in the kitchen, said: “It’s something different and not necessarily something I would have thought to go and learn myself but I’ve really been enjoying it.

“We’re learning something we can take home with us that will really make a difference in our lives.

“Paul just shows you how to make the meal and, although he is there to help if you need it, he trusts you to have a go and build your confidence.”