Pupils cooking for a cause

Convincing teenage boys to cook 150 cottage pies that they will not eat is no easy task.

However, when St Vincent de Paul volunteer Vince Jones told John McGlashan College senior food technology pupils they would be cooking for the homeless and families in need, they were all in.

"They didn’t know until today what the idea of it was and they were all stoked once they knew that they’re helping the community and that’s what it’s all about."

Mr Jones said he had made meals for the charity three or four times a year for the past eight years and there were a lot of people who needed the food.

John McGlashan College year 12 pupil Lachie Sutherland, 16, places the potato on top of the...
John McGlashan College year 12 pupil Lachie Sutherland, 16, places the potato on top of the cottage pie. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
"You would not believe how many people [in need] are out there.

"Children missed out on two meals because mum and dad have not been able to afford to feed them.

"When it comes to children, that’s really quite upsetting," he said.

Mr Jones said cottage pie was chosen as the meal because it was easy to make but it was also wholesome and nourishing.

He said it was a nice collaboration between the Presbyterian and Catholic churches.

Food technology head of department Duncan McLean said the pupils loved working together and enjoyed the camaraderie and banter of it all.

He said the setting also helped him teach the pupils about hospitality standards.

It simulated a commercial kitchen that would produce a larger quantity of food with high food safety standards.

Year 12 pupil Leon Kaan, 16, helped source the ingredients for the pies through a familial connection.

His father owned Dunedin catering company Kaan’s Catering Supplies.

Kaan’s contributed about 20kg of potatoes, 20kg of mince and all other ingredients for free.

Leon said it felt good to be cooking for people who really needed it.