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Cooking masterclass and sharing favourite meals with the MCR

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  • Guest Author

The act of sharing food fulfils more than the need for our physical nourishment. It is a way to bond and form a sense of belonging whilst creating a vibrant and kind community. It opens the opportunity to share stories on diverse cultures, experiences, and perspectives. It is a gateway to dive deeper to issues related to a healthy, sustainable, and mindful way of eating. Ultimately, eating food is more than just a meal.

As the MCR food representative in the time of Covid-19, I realised that I had to be creative in order to reach out to our Lincoln community. I invited Richard Malloy, the Lincoln Head Chef, to conduct a master cooking class. I then asked members of the MCR to list their favourite meals that they miss from home or the Dining Hall. Although only the top five dishes were selected, those who preferred to cook their favourite dish were still welcome to take part.

Despite the lockdown restrictions, Richard wrote the ingredients and instructions for coq au vin, paella, spinach lasagne Verdi, ratatouille, and chicken pasanda. Richard tested the recipes himself to ensure that the smaller portions of ingredients maintained the integrity of the dish. Our butler, Tony Daly, suggested the wine pairings.

In total around 117 students took part across 30 different Lincoln households! The households with the most well-presented dish as decided by Richard were given a prize and the winners were:

  • Oliver Holder’s group (Ratatouille) – very colourful, creative, and impressive presentation.
  • Miranda Saumaki’s group (Paella) – Chef said that paella is a very complex dish that can be difficult to prepare. Judging by the assembly of ingredients in the bowl, it was determined to be one of the most well-made and presented dishes.
  • Shahnaz Hoque (Mousle Frites) – lovely presentation. It was absolutely one of the best!

Thanks to the support of MCR committee, funding was allocated to this event since MCR dinners were not taking place this term. Fresh ingredients were bought on the day and distributed to each household over three weekends in November. The last day had the biggest distribution, but I was fortunate to receive help from fellow Lincoln friends. This event was truly heart-warming as friendships formed between new and current students in many households.