Nine members of Marshall University’s football team peeled, cut and sautéed during a recent meal prep class at Mountwest Community and Technical College’s Center for Culinary Arts.
During the meal prep class at Mountwest’s Center for Culinary Arts in Huntington, lead chef instructor Isabel Cross gave the football players meal prep tips and demonstrations and helped them to prepare ground turkey spaghetti sauce, turkey burgers, and chicken, rice and broccoli.
Doing demonstrations in the center of the room and visiting work stations to provide assistance, Cross taught the student-athletes how to safely hold and use a knife, how to cut and dice vegetables and how to store food, among other aspects of meal preparation.
Mountwest instructor Tammy Hugh; Lawrence Perry, program director for the culinary and hospitality management programs at Mountwest; and Mateo Bacolor and Kaden Short, who are both Mountwest students and kitchen managers at the Center for Culinary Arts, also helped out.
"I think that this program (benefits) the student-athletes because they learn how to time manage, they learn how to make healthy recipes, they learn how to store, how to shop for different items that they’re gonna cook eventually," Cross said. "The goal of this particular class is for them to do this maybe twice a week so they have six weeks full of meals, so that when they get home from either practice or, again, if they need to pull something out of the freezer, it’s already done, they know how to defrost it, how to cook it, in a (safe) way, and I think they have fun with it."
Tariq Montgomery, a freshman sports journalism major who is from Akron, Ohio, and Chinazo "CK" Obobi, a sophomore international business major who is from London, England, were two of the Marshall football players who participated in the class.
Montgomery said he was learning a lot that will help him in the future, and though he is still living on campus, he feels that he will use what he learned during the meal prep class once he moves.
"I think it’s a big time saver ... ’cause we’re athletes, and we have a tight, busy schedule," Montgomery said. "And so being able to meal prep the Sunday before the week — a busy week — is, I think, everything, saves so much of our time."
Obobi, who lives off campus, said he eats out a lot, but has been cooking more recently, so the meal prep class was very helpful for him. He said he thinks it is very important to learn how to meal prep effectively and also cost-efficiently.
All of the Marshall football players who participated in the meal prep class were able to eat the meals they had prepared at the Center for Culinary Arts and take the food home in to-go containers. They were given a folder containing the recipes for the meals they had prepared that day and additional information, along with a paring knife and a chef knife.
This was the second year that a meal prep class had been held at Mountwest Center for Culinary Arts for some of Marshall’s student athletes. Chicken, beef tacos and salmon were prepared during a class last year, according to Cross.