Parakai kids whip up a Special Thanks

Should a pavlova be gooey on the inside or crunchy? When does whipped cream become Chantilly cream? How many eggs do you need for 315 grams of egg whites?
These were among the hot topics of discussion when eight Parakai School senior students served up a delicious afternoon tea for members of the Helensville Lions Club earlier this month.
The students were at the end of their eight-week cooking course run by Keryn Reardon, Kitchen Manager at Te Whare Oranga ô Parakai. At each weekly lesson, the students embark on a culinary journey around the world, learning about the culture from different countries before cooking up a local delicacy. One week it might be caprese salad with grilled zucchini and polenta from Italy, the next might be herb and cheese borek with lentil kofta and yoghurt dipping sauce from Turkey.
At their last class, they came back home to Aotearoa, New Zealand and whipped up mini pavlova with passionfruit and lemon curd and Chantilly cream and served it to Lions Club members as a thank you for funding the classes.
Lions Club President Verna Healy says the club had been supporting Helensville School students by funding their Mathletics programme and wanted to do something for Parakai School when the opportunity to sponsor the cooking classes came up.
She says the Lions’ members at the afternoon tea were encouraged to learn the students have taken what they’ve learnt in class back home and have cooked some of the dishes for their families.
“It’s so important that children learn how to cook and how to cook the basics which can be a lot less expensive than getting food out of a packet or a takeaway,” said Mrs Healy.
Chef Keryn Reardon says she sees a real change in the children through the course. “It’s wonderful seeing the students’ confidence grow, both within the kitchen and also in their willingness to try different cuisines and flavours” she says.
Now that Parakai School has completed the course, students from Helensville Primary are embarking on the culinary journey with Chef Keryn looking to secure more funding to extend the classes to other local schools.

Comments are closed.