Walk into the cafeteria at Twin Lakes Secondary School on any given day and you’ll be treated to the comforting aroma of soup simmering and pastries baking. These enticing scents are courtesy of the school’s cooking and baking classes. Students in these programs are preparing for careers in the culinary arts every day. Not only do they cook and bake for themselves and to learn new techniques and recipes, they also run the school’s cafeteria and a staff ‘soup kitchen’.
Recently, four students in the baking program entered the Royal High School Chef competition. Run by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in partnership with Foodshare Toronto , the competition invited high school teams from across Ontario to submit recipes featuring local ingredients that could work as a menu item in a school cafeteria. Noelani Cline-Kitchener, Cory Lawrence, Nick Mason and Jason MacTiernan formed the team from Twin Lakes. Of the 27 schools that entered by submitting a recipe and photo of their creation, they were selected as one of three teams to compete at the Royal and recreate their recipe in the finals.
“We were trying not to think about (what a big deal it was) but when we got there we realized it was really big,” said Jason.
The team and their teacher, Kathryn Payne, took their Three Sisters Burrito recipe and wowed the judges with their innovative approach to the classic North American soup. Their creativity and skills in the kitchen (they made their own tortillas from scratch!) resulted in them winning the grand prize and bringing the 2016 Royal High School Chef championship home to Orillia.
Each member of the winning team is part of the Hospitality and Tourism Specialist High Skills Major at Twin Lakes, and have aspirations to continue in the culinary field after they graduate. In the meantime, members of the community can place special orders for food created by the students; contact Kathryn Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Great things are cooking at Twin Lakes!