Students taking part in the Fitz Cooking Scheme
image/svg+xml image/svg+xml

Fitz students cook up tasty scheme

Deliveroo couriers will have 12 fewer students to visit at Fitzwilliam College after a cooking scheme featuring peer-led sessions and classes taught by a former professional chef.

The Fitz Cooking Scheme was the idea of Kirstie Goodchild (Psychological & Behavioural Sciences 2018), the JCR Class Act Officer.

The scheme allows for students to each select a favourite recipe and then teach the rest of their group how to prepare and cook it.

An added extra, designed to encourage the scheme participants to acquire new skills and try something new, has seen cooking classes given by Deputy Development Director Donna Thomas-Watson, a professional chef for 15 years. The cooking classes have been generously supported by the Master’s Gift Fund.

Kirstie said: “I often find myself making the same small set of meals that I know how to cook on a regular basis – I soon get bored of eating the same foods.

“I thought people in a similar position to me at Fitz may find it useful to learn new, tasty and affordable recipes by teaching each other how to cook their favourite meals – and make mealtimes more sociable, diverse and exciting.”

Donna said: “I really wanted to help Kirstie make this scheme a success. Anything that encourages students to prepare healthy and inexpensive home cooked food for themselves, their friends and families can only be a good thing.”

Kirstie added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Donna and to Sally Morgan for their enthusiasm. Donna’s teaching has been invaluable in allowing participants to greatly develop their skill sets and confidence with cooking.”

Kirstie Goodchild following her cooking class
Kirstie Goodchild, front left, had the idea for the Fitz Cooking Scheme.

Week one’s menu, cooked by Anna Trowby (English), Marc Foxhall (Medical Sciences) and Stefan Vintila (Natural Sciences), was aubergine parmigiana, followed by Bakewell tart and proper custard. 

The week two menu, cooked by Kirstie, Cyffin Thomas (History & Politics 2019) and Tom Noden (Human, Social & Political Sciences 2019), was Thai green chicken curry, followed by chocolate brownies with instant raspberry ice cream. Two additional classes will follow before the end of term.

Stefan said: “I’m glad I finally got to learn how to properly chop onions, make tomato sauce and do pastry chemistry.”

Anna Trowby chopping onions
Anna chopping onions in her class

Anna added: “I really loved the cooking scheme. At first I was sceptical about it because cooking is a bit alien to me, but I ended up really enjoying myself! 

“We were all involved in making the food, and everyone had a really nice time learning this new skill together. 

“The class was so fun and really interactive, and Donna was a wonderful teacher to have. I would really recommend it to anyone looking to learn new, practical skills and make lifelong friends.”

Kirstie is a first generation university student from Keighley, West Yorkshire. Her role on the JCR committee is related to the Class Act campaign. The campaign aims to support students from under-represented backgrounds, including working class, state-comp educated, low-income, first generation, estranged, young carers and care leaver students, during their time at the University of Cambridge.

Class Act is a network for students with similar experiences to support each other and discuss issues of class, educational background and socio-economic privilege which often feel taboo at Cambridge.

Kirstie added: “Donna and I hope to expand upon this idea in Michaelmas 2020 by offering cooking lessons to help freshers with cooking for themselves during their first term living independently at Fitz.”

Week one's completed meal
Week one's menu: aubergine parmigiana, followed by Bakewell tart and proper custard
Thai green curry
Week two's main course: Thai green curry



Other News
As the chairman of Crossrail, Tony Meggs (NatSci (Physics) 1970) is used to negotiating challenges.
PhD student Bluebell Drummond (Nano Physics 2017) takes us on a tour of the College gardens.
The College is very sad to report that Dr Kenneth Smith, Life Fellow of Fitzwilliam, passed away on Sunday 15 March.