A chocolate chip cookie disaster occured at Hope Secondary School during one of Jeremy Smith's cooking classes. Smith is the key instructor of the school's program. He will be moving into his fourth year this fall

A chocolate chip cookie disaster occured at Hope Secondary School during one of Jeremy Smith's cooking classes. Smith is the key instructor of the school's program. He will be moving into his fourth year this fall

Smith’s soulful kitchen

Inspired, healthy and nutritious food on the go with the re-vamped Hope Secondary cooking program.

 

Hope Secondary School has a new chef in town, or a few — the foods program, which is a major success after being built from the ground up with the hard work, patience and dedication of cooking instructor and teacher, Jeremy Smith.

Smith bravely took up the program which is now on hiatus with the advent of another school year gone by and the glorious summer months stretching ahead. He saw the opportunity to provide a lifeline to students who could prosper in the service industry and related fields, as they move on from HSS to pursue careers.

The program is going into its fourth year and has come a long way since Smith walked through the door in 2012. In a short time, Smith has transformed the food program and the kids along with it.

“I have to put a lot of time into recipes — I want the kids to be successful, so I break them down step-by-step,” said Smith.

The program a smooth operation now, was once running at a diminished capacity until Smith with over ten years in the food industry, brought some much needed alterations to the classroom — mostly elbow grease and grit as he dissected menus, engaged the kids and often spent twelve hours a day getting it right in the beginning.

Planning and budgeting were some of the biggest challenges according to the food officiant, who nailed them down, getting costs as low as 32 cents for each student per class.

Passionate about the students and his work, Smith carefully planned menus, budgeted, shopped and explained the techniques from a novice to advanced level, as his students from grade 8 to grade 12, learned the basics. The students were gently or not so gently nudged into several professional cooking settings, where they had the opportunity to cook four course meals for crowds in the hundreds on more than one occasion.

“They’ve provided hot lunches to other communities and served over 300 people at Coquihalla Sports Day. The kids also did a volunteer appreciation event for FVRD Area B representative Dennis Adamson — they all come together and they want to perform,” he said of the initiative of the group.

According to Smith his students cook with gusto and in a professional manner befitting any organized kitchen team.

On a budget, traditionally, it was assumed that food’s class was a good excuse to leave lunch at home, but Smith has foregone that conclusion and adapted brilliantly to implement creative cuisine on a dime. “We do teasers, it’s more about getting the experience — it’s very hands-on and we build from scratch, everything from the tortilla for a quesadilla or a tartar sauce to accompany a fish dish.”

Smith has made it a habit to get input from all of his students on foods they are interested in trying and he’s all about promoting and teaching nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

“I want them to enjoy and be engaged,” he said of his interactive and dynamic style, which was evident on the tour he gave The Hope Standard on the final day of food class for the semester. “I will have parents come back and say my son or daughter is cooking dinners at home every Monday and is confident to be in the kitchen.”

Upon entering room 15, also known as the food room, there was a moment of awe and appreciation at the sheer organization of the students as they prepared all measures of fresh ingredients at various stations. Tantalizing smells abounded and what appeared as controlled chaos was alive and well with the chatter and banter of the students as they sliced, diced, fried and even grilled on a BBQ, carefully stationed outside the classroom.

The kids were amicable as they happily tested, tasted and created fearlessly in the open and spacious kitchen, a kitchen that has accommodated spills, explosions and even a flourless cookie creation that looked like an oozing chocolate chip fest in the oven.

One thing was clearly observable — they were having fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

(Unsplash.com)
Protecting our elders: It’s up to all of us to look out for them

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read