Chef shares skills with Blacktown students

Foodies: Hospitality student Gabrielle Pedrigal makes risotto with 2011 MasterChef contestant Jay Huxley.Picture: Natalie Roberts

Foodies: Hospitality student Gabrielle Pedrigal makes risotto with 2011 MasterChef contestant Jay Huxley.Picture: Natalie Roberts

Mitchell High School students had a brush with food fame when past MasterChef contestant Jay Huxley held a cooking demonstration at the school.

A group of 12 hospitality and food technology students from years 10 to 12 attended the two-hour workshop on Tuesday.

Hospitality teacher Jermaine Depalo said it was not the school's first association with the reality cooking show, after past student Ali Bahmad made a guest appearance.

He is now a chef and member of the Food Society restaurant co-operative.

Mrs Depalo said there was competition to attend Huxley's demonstration, organised by Healthy Canteens Australia.

"We had a lot of volunteers," she said. "Jay has been to a lot of schools and a lot of the recipes he is demonstrating in classrooms are going to be sold at the canteen to promote healthy eating as well.

"Because our lessons only go for 50 minutes . . . this was the perfect opportunity to get the experience of cooking a dish from beginning to end, then eat it while it's still hot."

Year 11 hospitality student Alannah Miceli plans to be a chef. She said the group had cooked a chicken and vegetable risotto and a pasta dish.

"It's really interesting to learn different techniques of how to chop things," she said.

"There was a good cross section of kids with varying skills with food," Huxley said. "They were all really keen to get involved and learn.

"Both dishes were from my 'love food, hate waste' recipes — basically taking things that are in the fridge and making something out of them. "

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