BEDARCHEI HATORAH WINTER 2022 - Page 36

RWeiss Vocational Center Relaunches Culinary Arts Class

BY BARBARA BENSOUSSAN
Rabbi Shimon Dachs , the director of the Weiss Vocational Center at Mesivta Chaim Shlomo , always keeps an ear out for what is trending on the job scene . Last year , schmoozing with talmidim who enjoy congregating in his office during their break , they came up with a new inspiration . “ Gourmet food and cooking are very in ,” he states . “ Many places — restaurants , nursing homes , schools , organizations — need chefs to run their kitchens .”
With many boys eager to learn to cook , the Vocational Center persuaded Mrs . Chana Florans , the Yeshiva ’ s chef , to teach them . Classes were held in the Yeshiva ’ s state-of-the-art commercial kitchen .
“ On the very first day , I decided we should make something right away ,” Mrs . Florans relates . “ They made fried Oreos . It whet their appetites , quite literally , to learn more .”
The class met twice a week . Students were introduced to all aspects of cooking : tools and techniques ( knife skills , deboning chicken ), safety ( handling hot liquids and grease , walking safely with a knife ), halacha ( separating challah , checking eggs ), and baking basics such as measuring and kneading dough . “ I learned good techniques , like how to cut meats so the pieces are all the same size ,” says Mesivta talmid Ami Swerdlik , who already had a few years ’ experience working in a camp canteen . “ We learned how to double recipes .” He found that he prefers cooking to baking , since the latter requires precise measuring , while he likes to experiment .
“ Cooking gives you results right away , and the boys loved that they had something to show for their efforts every session ,” Mrs . Florans says . “ The whole

Cooking Up A C A R E E R

34 BEDARCHEI HATORAH WINTER 5782 / 2022