Culinary students tackle Christmas dinner

Second year culinary students James Wood and Shanika Perera prepare for the first Christmas party at Humber Room on Dec. 9 (Photo: Sveta Soloveva) Second year culinary students James Wood and Shanika Perera prepare for the first Christmas party at Humber Room on Dec. 9 (Photo: Sveta Soloveva)

Sveta Soloveva
News Reporter

Second year culinary students whipped up a turkey dinner for the first Christmas party of the season at The Humber Room this week.

The Christmas rush was evident, with dishes clattering and cooks bustling around in the Humber kitchen on Dec. 9, when culinary management students prepared for the feast. Chef Francisco Rivera said the event for 86 guests opens the season of Christmas parties at the college restaurant.

“Every day we have a Christmas party [from Wednesday]. It is a good experience for the students because when they go into the real world, it is the same Christmas rush,” Rivera said.

Students worked in small groups on the traditional turkey Christmas dinner. It included an appetizer – beet salad with goat cheese, red grapes and blueberries and dessert – a flourless chocolate torte.

Diners were given the option of turkey or ham with vegetables or a meatless option of risotto

The cost of the three course meal is $34, which is a great price for the quality of food and service at the Room, culinary instructor Trevor Meynert said.

“If you go out to a fancy restaurant, it’s double the price. But everything you see [at the Humber Room kitchen] is done today, so we can guarantee that the product is really fantastic,” said Meynert.

He is proud of his students who are graduating in just a week adding that they are pretty independent in the cooking and managing process. Every day they have a chef who looks after the entire operation.

“Humber College was able to put some really fantastic students there. They are handling the pressure very well. After the holidays they are doing their internships, and then they are ready for the outside world,” said Meynert.

Shanika Perera, a second year culinary management student, who was rolling up turkey legs in foil, is excited for Christmas. She is very busy with school right now, but she will be planning the menu for her family’s party in just a week.

“I love cooking. Especially, I want to do a Royal Fondant Cake that we made yesterday in our class. I’m going to make something really special, but I have no idea right now,” Perera said.

James Wood, another second year culinary management student, was baking the stuffing for turkey, which is a potato mash with vegetables and fine peas. Unfortunately, he’ll be working at a restaurant on Christmas and won’t have a chance to surprise his family with festive dishes. Nevertheless, he appreciates the experience he will get working during such a busy period of time.

“For the last 10 years I’ve been cooking something for my family’s Christmas, but this year I can’t. That sucks. Hopefully, I’ll prepare something for the New Year,” Wood said.

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