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School teachers learn new culinary skills at Whanganui UCOL

By UCOL on Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Secondary school teachers upskill at Whanganui UCOL

Secondary school teachers left Whanganui UCOL with valuable new culinary skills after a visit to its training kitchens recently.

The group of six secondary school teachers from Whanganui High School, YMCA and Kokohuia School gathered at the UCOL campus to upskill with UCOL Chef Lecturers.

Chef Lecturer Damian Peeti says the aim of the day was to introduce the teachers to new skills they can use with their students in school kitchens, and to provide insight into competition dishes.

"We know that a lot of our secondary school teachers are working hard with their students in the classroom and kitchen and have limited time with all of their teaching commitment; so it's great to be able to pass on a new ways of doing things and teach them some new skills.

"We also wanted to give the teachers an introduction to secondary schools cooking competitions, so that they were well equipped to encourage their students to enter competitions like the Omelette Competition that was held here last Friday."

The programme for the upskilling day was split into two sessions, taken by Chef Peeti himself and fellow Whanganui UCOL Chef Lecturer Theresa McKeown.

One session focused on Bakery Skills, which included Danish pastries and bread making.

The second session provided an introduction to basic competition dishes, something which Chef Peeti says is an awesome way to get students fired up about food and cooking. "We ran through basic competition dishes including the innovative omelette and a café potato style dish, as well as cupcake decorating and plate presentation.

Feedback from the teachers was overwhelmingly positive with many commenting that they would like to return for a follow up session.

The upskilling session was run free of charge to participants, thanks to a grant from The Hospitality Training Trust and UCOL.