Woodland students cook up tasty program

BEACON FALLS — Woodland Regional High School culinary students served up plates of hot hors d’oeuvres and bite-sized desserts Monday morning despite weather-related delays.

About 25 students from Culinary 1 and Bakeshop 2 classes demonstrated their skills for parents and teachers at the event in the culinary room at the high school.

“It was fun and everyone was so nice. They looked like they enjoyed the food we made,” sophomore Jess Brown said.

Brown said her culinary class taught her sanitation, cutting skills, and proper use of equipment, among other things.

Culinary teacher Catherine Mirabilio said the event replaced a traditional Thanksgiving buffet that her students put on for the past five or six years. This year, she said, she didn’t have time to put on the annual feast because her position was cut to part time and she only teaches two classes. However, Mirabilio said she wanted to show the community what her students can do.

“It gives them a chance to really collaborate. … I try to let my students take leadership rolls in the class as well,” Mirabilio said.

Besides learning how to cook, Mirabilio said her class teaches students to be critical thinkers and work well in groups.

“It’s not just a fun class,” Mirabilio said.

Students started preparing for the event shortly after winter break, Mirabilio said. She said they had to learn how to plan ahead and schedule when to prepare dishes that could be frozen for later in order to have everything ready at the event.

Students worked on sanitation, preparation, as butlers, greeters, and chefs for the big event.

“Good manners and being polite and patient can get you a lot of gratitude. Everyone said the food and service was good,” junior James Barrett said of his experience acting as a server for the event.

Mirabelio said she was proud of her students.

“They really stepped up to the plate,” Mirabilio said.

Woodland junior Semra Zekiri serves parent Sue Barrett hors d’oeuvres for a culinary class at Woodland Regional High School Monday morning. - LARAINE WESCHLER