Theatre students take their talent to the kitchen

GBC theatre students leave the Distillery District for an evening of cooking at the culinary school

Curious of what would be the result of bringing together the theatrical and culinary arts, coordinator of the theatre program at George Brown College (GBC), Sue Miner, took her students off the stage and into the kitchen for a night.

“This is the place to go if you want to be a chef, you come to George Brown College, and I want to think this is the place you want to go if you want to be an actor”, Miner said, explaining her idea of having the two departments collaborate.

The idea came about during a faculty meeting in the theatre department earlier this year while discussing ways to help students deal with stress.

Miner suggested that cooking together may be the answer, and she was right.

The chair of the theatre program, Trent Scherer contacted the culinary department, and chef Sharon Booy was ready to come on board.

Chef Booy along with chef Geremy Capone led the interactive cooking sessions that took place on the evening of Nov. 2 in two of the culinary labs.

“It is different teaching students that aren’t culinary students but I do a lot of work in the community as well around healthy cooking,” Booy said.

Booy is specialized in nutritional cooking, and regularly works with the health sciences department as well as programs outside of GBC to teach cooking.

“I have a background in film, and these are theatre people so it kind of seems appropriate,” said Pablo Carranza, a first-year culinary student who pitched in for the evening.

A demonstration was provided by the two chefs where they gave insight into the methods and culinary techniques used within the recipes.

The students then paired off to prep and cook ratatouille with beans and “socca” bread made out of chickpeas.

“We’re at school all day, every day, it’s just a great thing to learn how to do,” said Sansom Marchand, a second-year theatre program student who had speech class and rehearsals just before the event.

“It’s kind of exciting to be out of our little corner and doing something together that’s not Theatre,” Jane Neumier, a first-year student in the theatre program added.

As for Neumier’s cooking partner Gavin Dyer, this was one of his first experiences at the college that took him outside of the theatre.

Being on the inside of a professional kitchen was also a first for some of the students.

“I was surprised at how big it was and how many cooking stations there would be,” commented Aleah Rodrigues, a first year theatre student.

The theatre program runs for long hours with some days starting at 10 a.m. and finishing off at 9 p.m., requiring students like Rodrigues to prepare their meals the weekend before.

“We’re very separate, and we feel separate, and everyone’s so busy so it’s just really nice for us to just get out of that and not have to worry about our voices and movement and remembering lines,” Miner said.

She hopes to see more events like this in the school’s future where different departments can collaborate.

“I’m thinking like how do we get you guys (culinary school) to the theatre department, to come over and do some classes or see some shows,” Miner added.

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Theatre students take their talent to the kitchen