Cooking and culture: St. Al students study Spanish language through food

Published 10:42 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

St. Aloysius High School’s Spanish II teacher Vivian Velazquez knows the best way to a student’s head is sometimes through the stomach.

Velazquez made good use of that strategy Tuesday with a special Spanish-themed cooking class at Catfish Row Museum.

“During this activity, students will prepare a Hispanic recipe of their choice, present the dish preparation in Spanish to their classmates, and enjoy the meal together,” Linda Fondren, executive director of Catfish Row Museum, explained prior to the event. “This unique experience, led by Ms. Velazquez, aims to blend cultural learning with practical, hands-on experience for the students.”

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And with a room full of students, led by Velazquez and St. Paul Catholic Church’s the Rev. Rusty Vincent, the museum’s kitchen quickly came to life. As the student’s worked, a number of dishes were created as questions and comments – all spoken in Spanish – filled the area.

“It’s just a great way to incorporate culture with language,” Velazquez said of the event. “It’s a way to give them some real-life
experience. They are going to be going to college soon and they need to know how to cook. So, it’s not only creative, but it’s an opportunity to integrate real-life skills into learning the language.”

Velazquez said a special thanks is due to Fondren and the staff at Catfish Row Museum for hosting Tuesday’s class, as well as
to Rusty’s Riverfront Grill owner Rusty Larsen for providing aprons and chef’s hats for the event.