Children in the Migrant Education Program get a taste of what WCCC is all about
This past summer, Mesa County Valley School District 51 students in the Migrant Education Program attended a cooking course hosted by Chef Wayne Smith at Western Colorado Community College. Smith, who has more than 30 years of professional culinary experience, teamed up with the Adelante! program which seeks to help students transition from middle school to high school by engaging them in real-world trade opportunities.
“What this course did was teach the students the universal appeal of food and cooking, and the ability of food culture to bridge people from different backgrounds,” said Smith. “The students were absolutely great to work with.”
“What this course did was teach the students the universal appeal of food and cooking, and the ability of food culture to bridge people from different backgrounds. The students were absolutely great to work with.” – Chef Smith
During the course, Smith had D51 students review the proper procedures for safety and sanitization in the kitchen, then asked them to study the recipe and calculate serving sizes so they could adjust the amount as needed.
The students prepared Ensalada de Nopal and Pollo Pibil and were asked to build a timeline of actionable steps needed in order to create the dish. Once students calculated serving sizes and built their timeline, they gathered supplies and ingredients and got to work.
After following the recipe, students presented their dishes and reflected on what went well and areas they could improve. They then packaged their salads in take home containers and cleaned their stations.
Afterwards, Smith spoke to the students about important skills such as organization, time management, teamwork and responsibility, as well as how the lessons they learned in the kitchen are applicable to life in the classroom and at home.
Smith considers the course a success and hopes to continue to teach more classes in the future.