The College Experience students recently had a SWEET time learning about the Culinary Arts. For six Fridays in a row, eleven College Experience students participated in a virtual culinary class with Matthew Williams, Executive Chef of the Albany Marriott International.

The hour-long classes covered a lot of ground. Among other topics, students learned about the differences between commercial and home kitchens, were shown proper sanitation procedures, were introduced to The Ten Essential Cooking Methods and were shown how to read recipes, nutrition, and food labels.

During one class, the students watched Chef Matt prepare two breakfast recipes -Oatmeal Bake and Stuffed French Toast. One student, Anna Santiago, was so excited about the Stuffed French Toast recipe, she replicated it on her own, declaring it to be her new favorite food. Anna said, “It has berries and bananas – It was soo good! It’s not hard to make, just time-consuming.” But then again, Anna is not new to the culinary arts. She explained, “I have a lot of experience with baking because I already took a BOCES class when I was in high school.”

In another session, Chef Matt becomes a bit of a legend with the group by making a miraculous six soups on camera in one hour. They all looked delicious! Anna said, “Chef Matt was very nice and kind. He laughed at some of my jokes!” She chuckled and admitted, “Not everyone understands my sense of humor, so I appreciate that he gets it!”

The final class involved visits from two alumni, Kristen Sheridan and Amy Mairiano, and a job coach, Koryn Shear, so students could learn about careers in the culinary field. In the future, we hope to offer this class again, but next time we hope to be able to have it in person so students can help make the food along with Chef Matt.