On Friday, February 22, Year 7 Design & Technology (D&T) students from YCIS Pudong Secondary took part in a fantastic interactive cooking workshop, which resulted in the production of an array of delicious food by the young aspiring chefs. Teachers and parent volunteers showed the eager students how to prepare and dish up around a dozen different recipes from cuisines across the world, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, and South American specialties.
The workshop tied to the students’ D&T classes, focusing on the five vital stages of production: planning, preparation, timing, manufacturing, and evaluation. Whether working on Resistant Materials, Electronics, Graphic Design, or Structure & Control projects, the students always start with a problem, research the topic, propose solutions, and make prototypes before they begin production. These same steps can be used for a Food Technology project. This was therefore an excellent opportunity for the students to manage the different stages of design and manufacturing in a potentially-new context, and to apply the theoretical knowledge they had learned in class into a practical process.
As in any food preparation process, before they began, the students had to ensure that all ingredients were present and ready to use, that everyone knew their roles, and that they were prepared to manage their cooking environments in a safe and hygienic manner at all times. Preparation included ensuring cleanliness of surfaces and equipment, washing hands frequently, separating raw meat from vegetables, and using equipment with sharp edges responsibly. Since timing is crucial in cooking, it can mean the difference between something being undercooked or burned — neither of which are desirable. Therefore, the students found that timing was of the utmost importance on the day. Finally, the manufacturing element began with the actual cooking. For the duration of the task, the students focused on precision and efficiency when following the recipes, as well as maintaining quality control, with the aim of producing food that looked aesthetically pleasing as well as being tasty.
The informative and practical session lasted throughout the morning, finishing just in time for lunch. The aroma of delicious, freshly-cooked food wafted through the school buildings, and suffice to say, all of the food was subsequently scoffed down by the hungry chefs and some teachers who had followed their noses to the D&T area! As is always the case at YCIS Pudong, the workshop provided the students with the opportunity to learn some vital skills and acted as a launchpad from which they can do some cooking at home, sharing their culinary delights with their families. Special thanks to the parent volunteers who took time out of their schedules to lead the workshop and impart their cooking knowledge.