Culinary students provide cooking class for Southwick seniors

SOUTHWICK – The Council on Aging hosted a cooking class on Tuesday morning at the Southwick Town Hall taught by the culinary students at the Westfield Technical Academy.

This is the second cooking class held this school year by the culinary students from the Westfield Technical Academy at the Council on Aging. Sophomore students Kiele Counsman and Sam MacMunn, along with their supervisor, Chef Eric Rogers, taught the class.

Westfield Technical Academy Culinary Arts teacher Chef Eric Rogers is explaining the cooking class to those in attendance on Tuesday morning at the Southwick Senior Center. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

Counsman and MacMunn selected the meal to cook in front of the seniors and made Sous vide salmon with a blueberry reduction and bananas foster with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert.

Rogers was glad that Counsman and MacMunn volunteered to be a part of the cooking class.

“These two are what we call naturally talented in the form of culinary arts,” said Rogers. “I learn from these guys every day.”

Counsman, who plans to attend the culinary program at Johnson and Wales University after she graduates from Westfield Technical Academy, sees a benefit of teaching a cooking class to people.

“It’s a good experience in something you can’t really experience outside this area,” said Counsman. “It helps us to get used to talking to people.”

The cooking class, which cost just $5 per class, isn’t just a beneficial experience for the culinary students but also for the seniors who enjoyed the experience.

Chef Eric Rogers (r) is looking over at what Westfield Technical Academy Culinary Arts students Kiele Counsman and Sam MacMunn are preparing for the Southwick seniors. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

Lynette Buley, who’s been to all of the cooking classes that have been offered by the Council on Aging, always sees a positive from attending the class.

“I always get great recipes and hints,” said Buley. “It’s just to see how great these young kids are.”

Patti Phillips and her husband Bud, are no strangers to the food that the students cook.

“We love going over (to the Westfield Technical Academy) for lunches,” said Patti Phillips. “It’s so great to have the kids participate.”

According to Cindy Sullivan, Council on Aging Director, she’ll continue the partnership with the culinary program at the Westfield Technical Academy for as long as they want to continue to do it and the seniors at the Council on Aging center continue to express an interest in it.

“They look forward to it, they (seniors) always ask me when the next one is,” said Sullivan.

For anyone interested in trying some of the food that the Westfield Technical Academy culinary students prepare, visit their Tiger’s Pride Restaurant on the campus at Westfield Technical Academy. The dining area is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays from 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. The menus are posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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