March 6, 2017
Students in the Afterschool Program were treated to a special
visit from members of the culinary arts program at SUNY
Cobleskill on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Led by Chef Michael Lapi,
students from Cobleskill’s Farm-to-Table course showed students
how to make their own delicious egg pasta from scratch.
The activity, which was initiated by Middleburgh Central
School District Food Service Director Barbara Moore and
coordinated through the help of Chef Lapi and the staff of the
MCS Afterschool Program, immersed Middleburgh students in
hands-on learning and introduced them to the field of the
The group from SUNY Cobleskill came prepared with special tools and ingredients to
perfect the dish, and Chef Lapi explained to the students the
difference between traditional pasta and egg pasta – a healthier
alternative, he said, that they would create using eggs sourced
from local farms. Chef Lapi and the culinary arts students
emphasized their close encounters with these local ingredients,
vouching for the quality of the conditions in which the chickens
were raised and giving the students insight on how to spot
high-quality eggs when they’re cooking up something in their own
kitchens at home.
"We’re thrilled that the program reaches out to local growers
and farmers," Ms. Moore said. "It gives the kids a chance to see
where everything they’re eating came from and have some fun
while they’re at it."
From start to finish, the culinary arts students demonstrated
the steps required to turn simple ingredients into a delectable,
ready-to-eat creation. MCS students had the chance to try out
their own culinary skills as they assisted the presenters in
kneading the dough, using tools like pasta machines and ravioli
stamps and selecting their sauce and filling ingredients. The
culinary arts students served as thoughtful mentors as they
supervised the MCS students to ensure their safety while working
with kitchen tools.
The MCS students put their own spin on their pasta dishes as
they selected custom pasta shapes and had the
opportunity to pick a sauce that suited their taste buds – with
options ranging from buttery and mild to spicy.
"It was the best pasta I ever had -- and I made it,"
fourth-grade student Dalton Swift commented after sampling his
"It was an exciting collaboration – we were so glad to work
with the college, and they were very enthusiastic about this
idea from the beginning," Ms. Moore said. "I think the kids
are inspired by seeing professionals in action like this, and
maybe ten years from now, one of our students might have joined
a culinary arts program after an event like this sparked their
Ms. Moore said that she is looking forward to continuing to
work with the SUNY Cobleskill program to bring more activities
like this to the Afterschool Program in the months ahead for
more students to enjoy.
Afterschool Program staff members Michele Mix and Jody DeJong
commented positively on the experience. "Our students were so
intrigued and well-behaved, and everyone was proud of their
pasta creations," Ms. Mix said. "We want to give a special thank
you to the amazing class and chef from SUNY Cobleskill that put
this presentation together."
MCS students in grades 3 through 12 are still able to join
the Afterschool Program and experience enriching activities like
these. More information about signing up is available online.
View additional photos on Facebook.