WorldFest Cookery Workshops a Delicious Success

Students show off their pizzas after a successful cookery workshop

This year’s WorldFest celebrations were a delicious success, thanks in part to a series of free student cookery workshops.

These workshops offered students the chance to learn new skills, celebrate cultural diversity, and of course, have some fun!

Led by Kent’s experienced Chef de Cuisine, Ben Elsbury, and Darwin chef, Nick Constantinou, the workshops covered the art of pizza making and the ever-popular Japanese dish, katsu curry. Due to high demand, a second katsu curry workshop was added to the schedule!

Students from all corners of the world, including Asia and Africa, came together in Darwin Kitchen, a real-working kitchen on campus. Here, they learned the secrets of fresh pizza dough, panko breadcrumbs, and the perfect rice accompaniment to katsu curry.

Darwin chef, Nick Constantinou, shows students how to make a classic pizza dough.

But the benefits went beyond just the food. As Ben Elsbury himself says, “It’s key for young adults to learn essential cooking skills… But overall, I really do enjoy spending time with the students, it’s always an enlightening and entertaining experience.”

The sentiment was echoed by a student attendee who praised the personalised attention and friendly atmosphere. They commented, “It was very personalised… Everything ran smoothly… Thank you to WorldFest for providing us with events that help us connect and bond with people in a fun way!”

Chef de Cuisine, Ben Elsbury, shows students how to breadcrumb chicken and mushrooms for katsu curry.

Emma Marku, the brain behind the initiative and Global Opportunities Manager for GEO Internationalisation, highlighted the significance of food in uniting communities. “WorldFest provides an opportunity to celebrate our culturally diverse communities here on campus… Cooking together provides the opportunity to ask questions and appreciate how one dish can be cooked differently by different cultural communities. Ahead of the katsu curry workshops, our Japanese Language Tutor also provided a talk on the relationship between food and culture. Students have requested that we repeat the experience with Nigerian or Somalian cuisine. That would be something great to do!”

WorldFest is the University of Kent’s annual celebration of cultural diversity. This year, celebrations took place from 4 – 15 March 2024. WorldFest aims to showcase the cultural diversity, talents, and knowledge of Kent’s students and staff. The festival continues to serve as a platform for creating lasting memories through engaging activities like these cookery classes.

Students show off their new cookery skills after a successful katsu curry masterclass.