Culinary students serve up regional cuisine from Nov. 12 to Dec. 11
November 07, 2018

For the past eight weeks, second-year Culinary students have been crafting mouthwatering menus featuring food from around the world.

With 10 unique dinners offered during the Regional Cuisine Dinner series, there is something for everyone.

Aura Silva Sauza and her group created a four-course menu called Mexico and Vietnam: Home away from home. The six aspiring chefs met at the start of their program and quickly became good friends. Two of the students are from Mexico, two are from Vietnam and two are Canadian. Together, they’ve been sharing their favourite dishes with each other since first semester.

They noticed a lot of similarities in their regional cuisines. For example, cilantro and pork are common ingredients, and many dishes are wrapped in breads – tortillas in Mexico and bánh in Vietnam.

“It’s so nice meet people from other countries but still feel instantly at home because of things you have in common,” said Silva Sauza as she described their philosophy behind their menu choices.

A group of six culinary students standing behind a preparation table in the culinary lab.
The students chefs from the group Mexico and Vietnam: Home away from home. From left to right: Mai Pham, Brandon Pansavath, Zachary Wheatley, Aura Silva Sauza, Huyen Vu and Leticia Cervantes.

The group’s main entrée is barbacoa. In Mexico, they wrap the lamb in maguey (agave) leaves and roast it in a fire pit in the ground. To adapt this recipe to cook in the Georgian Dining Room at the Barrie Campus, they sourced banana leaves from Barrie’s newest grocer, Centra Food Market.

What’s the best part of this culinary assignment? Silva Sauza says it is knowing each other’s abilities in the kitchen and playing to each other’s strengths.

“We respect each other and each of our cultures,” she said.

Two peppers on a banana leaf
Peppers and banana leaves.

A bowl of diced jackfruit

Student chefs Brandon Pansavath and Mai Pham prepare ingredients in the culinary lab