They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I say, that’s the way to anyone’s heart! Cooking is an art form, a relevant skill and a necessity in life. Here at BEST, we try to equip our students with cooking skills and to harness their creativity as well as give them the tools to be independent in life.
To further enhance their interest in cooking, we had a cooking competition today at the centre! Students were involved with the preparation process from beginning to end, starting with preparing the work stations right up to cleaning it up when it ended. Parents were present to help judge the competition and to give moral support to their children. It was obvious that the kids were happy and even more active than usual with their parents present.
The competition began with delegating the different jobs to different people. Older students began assembling the relevant tools and ingredients needed to bring it from the kitchen to the respective work stations. Once everything was assembled, the competition began! There was such an infectious buzz of excitement amongst the participants as well as the spectators but noise quickly died down the moment the competition began!
The first category had three competitors. The competitors were asked to cut up fruits and assemble them on a plate and they were judged based on their cutting skills and creativity in plating. It was such a thrill to see how fast and skillful the competitors were able to handle the knives and cut up the fruits so well! Their creativity really shined through as each and every competitor had a different flair in plating the fruits.
The second category were for the foundation basic students at BEST. These were the younger children and they were being tested on their comprehension and hand eye coordination skills. Participants were asked to assemble fruits on a stick following a sequence based on the first example given. The winner was judged based on proper completion of the task and how well they followed the sequence. It was such a cute sight watching these young children try their best to follow the sequence with minimal help. Most of the time, it ended with them being more interested in eating the fruits instead! It has been noted that an eating competition definitely needs to happen soon! The children seem to enjoy it BEST!
The third category was to judge competitors on their cutting skills again as well as their assembling skills. Competitors were asked to make a pizza using cheese, mushrooms, tuna, tomato sauce and a burger bun. These were for the foundation advanced students and you could see full concentration on each of their faces as they worked hard to quickly cut up the mushrooms and cheese into bite sized pieces and assemble it as quickly as possible. It was very apparent during this category that when these children are given a task they’re interested in doing, they had full concentration on it and were very focused in doing the best job possible.
The final competition was the one everyone had been waiting for: The Sushi Making Competition! The older students were participants in these and we had two groups of four in this competition, Team A and Team B. Teams were awarded marks based on their teamwork, creativity, design/plating and taste. The students showcased excellent teamwork skills as everyone participated equally and when a student had difficulty in their task, their teammate would take over and help them out with it. Team B showcased excellent organizational skills. The minute the competition began, they each knew their roles and waited for their turns in cutting, assembling, wrapping and plating the sushi rolls. They also tried rolling it in different ways. In the end though, there could only be one winner and Team A was the winner for this competition! Their sushi was delicious with the addition of tuna and it was rolled and presented in a neat manner. Team A was obviously ecstatic at this and there were loud cheers for everyone when it ended.
This competition brought out a lot of joy in both the parents and the children. Parents were able to see their kids grow and flourish here and the kids really enjoyed just spending a few hours in the morning with their parents. They shared that they all felt accomplished and independent during the competition, something that will be remembering for a long time to come! It was also a great way for the parents to see how their children’s life skills are brought out here at BEST. All in all, it was a successful competition indeed.