‘Cooking Mama 2’: Bronx Science Edition

Bronx Science teachers are being featured in a series of live cooking demonstrations for students learn how to cook and to have some fun at the same time.

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Russell Kwong

Amidst an uncertain year, many Bronx Science students have developed a new hobby of cooking or baking. “We know how stressful this year has been, so we wanted students to be able to celebrate the holidays in a relaxing way by baking,” said Andrew Morrissey ’23.

During this seemingly never-ending Coronavirus pandemic, many have turned to their kitchen for relief, leading to an increased interest in cooking and healthier eating habits. In the past, many have experimented with cooking in a virtual kitchen using the popular video game, Cooking Mama. However, with all this extra time, people have now been trying new recipes and testing their creativity in a real kitchen.

Bronx Science teachers are getting in on the action by teaching students how to cook some of their favorite recipes. Mr. Daniel McNickle and the Senior Council have organized a series of cooking classes for seniors, hosted by our very own Bronx Science teachers. These demonstrations are being held on virtual platforms where students can tune in and assemble an afternoon snack in the company of friends. 

In November 2020, Mr. Alex Seoh from the Physics Department was the first teacher to be featured as a part of the series. An ingredient list for mashed potatoes and gnocchi were sent to students ahead of time for those who wanted to cook alongside their teacher.

Outside the classroom, Mr. Seoh, a Bronx Science Physics teacher, shows off the ingredients that he is using to make tomato sauce from scratch, while responding to questions live.

Many students showed up to the YouTube Live broadcast, which featured a live chat where students could talk with their peers or ask Mr. Seoh questions. Among those who attended was Samama Moontaha ’21, a member of the Senior Council who helped to plan the event. “We weren’t expecting too many students to show up, since this was the first event of the series. I was pleasantly surprised to see over 200 students join our first class,” said Moontaha. “The class was not intended to exceed over an hour, but we all lost track of time, and it went on for over two hours.”

The Senior Council developed this idea in an effort to maintain some traditions like the Senior Brunch, translated into a virtual platform like YouTube or Zoom. “We also tried to find specific pastimes or activities that students were especially attracted to, and baking and cooking seemed to be very popular. Bringing our teachers in to host cooking sessions really tied the spirit together, especially since it’s harder to get to see them outside of the classroom setting these days,” said Moontaha.

The following month, Mr. Artur Wala, also from the Physics Department, showed students how to make blueberry pancakes over Zoom, perfect for a quick breakfast before class. Similar to the previous class, students used the chat function to ask questions and talk with each other during the class. Although the Senior Council is keeping the future recipes and guests a secret, students are hoping that the next cooking class will be held soon. 

Also taking place in December 2020 was the Holiday Bake-Off organized by the Student Organization. Andrew Morrissey ’23 helped to organize this event held over Google Meet, leading students through a chocolate chip cookie recipe. “The event was a really nice way to disconnect from everything school-related for an hour, to make something to celebrate the holidays, and just to have fun,” said Morrissey. “We were all able to bake together following one recipe, and we all shared our results once the cookies were done!”

For those who are interested in the science behind cooking and baking, Bronx Science offers a Nutritional Science course that also counts as a lab science. Students get to learn about the importance of nutrients, how our body digests food, and how to prepare recipes in the kitchen. During labs, students learn to eat healthier by incorporating whole grains and vegetables into their recipes, even getting to eat what they make.

Although this year is far from normal due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Senior Council hopes to make this year a memorable one. “For all the seniors out there reading this, be sure to remember that this is obviously far from what we expected, but these events are special and unique to us relative to the rest of the students in the building,” said Moontaha. “Regardless of whether or not they’re as iconic as our usual events, they’re definitely worth participating in and showing up to, because they represent the things that we want to remember after we graduate!” 

From these virtual cooking classes, Bronx Science students will hopefully learn how to prepare delicious meals for their families, ones that will turn out “Better than Mama!” 

“Regardless of whether or not they’re as iconic as our usual events, they’re definitely worth participating in and showing up to, because they represent the things that we want to remember after we graduate!” said Samama Moontaha ’21.

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