What's cooking in The Kitchens?

May 18, 2023
Three students pose with their cooking creation of salmon and pasta on plates


Quick and easy food recipes are hard to come by. Luckily here at SSU we have Executive Chef Don Cortes to help fellow Seawolves replicate tasty and affordable meals. Each semester, culinary services offer free cooking classes. Not only do students learn valuable life skills, but they end the class with a free meal. 

Wednesday, Feb. 15 at The Kitchens, Chef Don hosted a cooking class where students made  Cacio e Pepe con Salmon; a delicious Italian dish. This free hands-on cooking tutorial allows students to gain experience and learn new culinary techniques Chef Don said, “I think it's great to teach life skills to students…I want to make sure that the ingredients are achievable, cost-effective, and at the same time impress family and friends with the type of dishes that I teach.” 

These free classes are for all students-regardless of their cooking skills. Carina Bautista, one of the students who was in attendance said, “I would rate my experience a 10/10. I learned how to make a pasta dish which seemed difficult at first, but the instructions were easy to follow.” The Cacio e Pepe con Salmon pasta is quick to make and the ingredients the recipe called for are most likely already in your pantry.. 

“In Chef Don's class, he is very energetic when teaching his students how to cook Cacio e Pepe con Salmon.” According to fellow Seawolf Jincie Zadrozny. She also said that, “This experience was amazing. The moment we stepped into the kitchen, Don made the cooking class captivating… He's a great chef and an even better teacher!” Chef Don is passionate when he teaches the classes which make students want to attend. After he demonstrates the steps the recipes call for, students then get to cook the meal under the supervision of Don.

Classes are taught in The Kitchens where Don and several other other chefs work regularly. Student Kaylie Richards said, “ [the cooking class] was really fun. I thought it was cool to be in a commercial kitchen and experience something different. [the Cacio e Pepe con Salmon] was a yummy recipe… It's a great life skill and it's a good activity to do with your friends.” Richards attended the cooking class with her best friend and viewed the activity as a “fun bonding experience.” This experience allows students to cook their salmon, pasta and make their own sauce. 

Fellow Seawolves should come to the classes because you end the class with a free meal. Chef Don explained to the STAR why SSU students should attend the cooking class,“They will leave here fed, knowing another skill, and making new friends.” Always stay on the lookout for cooking classes with Chef Don and make sure you RSVP in advance. Chef Don said, “I've been fortunate that these cooking classes have been very popular. I always sellout a month in advance... I have a lot of returners and new faces. So that's good, that means someone elbowed someone to get into the class.” If this interests you, stay on the lookout and browse the Seawolf Living page for more student events.