Men love to cook too! And in St Colmcille’s Community School in Dublin’s Knocklyon, the Cookery for Men class has proved extremely popular.
This course gives men the chance to improve their cooking skills and add to their repertoire of favourite meals. The emphasis will be placed on cooking meals that men traditionally like to cook (and eat!).
The man behind the skillet for the last two years is Frank Guinevan, a professional chef. “I have a family background in food and I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with new methods, menus and tastes. Food is about all these things but it is foremost about an experience, whether that is learning on a personal level about food or sharing that experience with family and friends.”
For Frank, the best thing about teaching is in nurturing the enthusiasm and interest in food shown by the class participants each week. “Being able to cook healthy wholesome food is a basic skill that gives people of all ages independence. Learning how to take raw ingredients and by following a recipe, you can then turn them into a desirable dish, picking up handy tips along the way is what I am trying to achieve as a teacher.”
One of the most important elements in any class is fun. “After the first evening, all the participants start talking and sharing and discovering a common interest and that gives me a great sense of achievement. It is satisfying to hear someone say that, as a result of the class, they only make homemade soup now. In the class, we cover some baking and also regional cooking such as Italian and Spanish dishes.
“Food is also about sharing. All the recipes we cover in the course can be recreated at home. Because the class is hands-on, the mystery has been removed and you can just go ahead and enjoy good company and hopefully receive the praise you deserve.”
In his role as a chef, Frank gets a lot of satisfaction from preparing food and getting feedback that the customer has enjoyed what he has prepared using his skills. “Teaching this adult education class has the same effect: knowing that the skills I teach will be used to allow those class participants to add and enjoy another experience.”
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