Life begins at Halcyon

Cooking on the menu for Greens’ Spice Boys

23 November 2018 | by Halcyon

Male home owners at Halcyon Greens are discovering their inner MasterChef after project director Scott Ng put cooking lessons on the community’s menu.

Scott, renowned throughout Halcyon for his cooking prowess, sparked a culinary uprising when he presented his first ‘Spice Boys’ cookery class.

He dished up the lesson with the aim of arming the community’s blokes with some kitchen skills to surprise - and impress - their better halves.

“It came about after I had been chatting with some of the home owner ladies who were saying how lopsided the cooking duties were at home,” he said.

“I suggested to the guys that we prove that we can all do this, and to surprise their wives by making them a meal.

“I saw it as an opportunity for them to learn and experience something new in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

“For most of them it was a first-time experience, they had a bit of fun and picked up a new skill.”

And so Halcyon Greens’ very first ‘Spice Boys’ event took shape, with 18 men fronting up for the three-hour cooking lesson.

They were divided into teams who cooked at work stations set up in the style of a MasterChef episode.

Scott took them through the ingredients and recipes for three classic Asian dishes - San Choi Bow, spring rolls and Vietnamese rice paper rolls – before letting them loose in the ‘kitchen’.

After much laughter, friendly banter and some odd-shaped spring rolls, the meals were served up as lunch for the men’s wives.

“A couple of the ladies were surprised and stated that the boys could start cooking at home while others said it just proved that they needed to keep doing the cooking,” Scott said.

Home owner Lloyd Whitley said he went into the session with very limited cooking experience but emerged with new skills, confidence and the intention of cooking at least once a week at home.

“I’m not much into cooking – barbecues are my specialty - but my wife told me I was going to the class,” he laughed.

“I picked up a few good ideas and tips on things that were quite simple and therefore not as complicated as I thought it would be.”

His next-door neighbour Darrel Cramer said it was a great learning experience.

“Like many others who were there, I don’t do a lot of cooking, so it was new to me and new to them, but we learnt a lot,” he said.

Joking that his previous cooking experience was takeaway food, Garry Milroy said he went into the lesson with high expectations.

“I want to be on MasterChef,” he laughed.

“It was challenging, but it turned out not bad at all.”

Fellow home owner Bob Lewis said the experience had expanded his “pretty good” cooking repertoire to include Asian cuisine.

“I consider myself a pretty good cook, but I’ve never been into the Asian part of it,” he said.

“I’d never done that before and it was a lot easier than I thought.”

The outstanding success of the first ‘Spice Boys’ session has seen it become a regular on the community’s calendar with Scott planning a lesson in Italian cookery as well as culinary sessions for the ladies.

He is also planning a community cook-off to determine who is Halcyon Greens’ best ‘chef’.

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