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Kitchen student whips up delicious desserts

By Patrick Nelson

Pat Skinner with the latest batch of desserts … panna cotta Bavarian creams and chocolate mousses Pat Skinner with the latest batch of desserts … panna cotta Bavarian creams and chocolate mousses

Cookery student Pat Skinner is not a sweet tooth but that didn’t stop her from whipping up a wide variety of delicious desserts in the training kitchen at Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus recently.

Ms Skinner was one of nine students who last month made several trays of éclairs, profiteroles, cakes, strudels and other desserts as part of their training.

She plans to take her new-found skills and knowledge to the Owen Springs Education Centre, where she has worked for the past three years as an Aboriginal and Islander education worker.

“Some of the students there call me ‘nanna’ or ‘auntie’,” she said.

“They love food and they love cooking. We’ll have a baking day and make some of the desserts that I’ve learnt about at CDU.”

Ms Skinner said she hoped to one day deliver a cooking program that carried a recognised qualification.

“It makes it easier for the students to get a job if they have a qualification.

“We’ve just established a garden and received funding for the Stephanie Alexander Program so we’ll have fresh herbs and vegetables for the cooking program.

“I’ve learnt so much and [lecturer] Ingolf [Eigenwillig] is brilliant. He always has the time and patience to explain everything in detail and with clarity.

Ms Skinner said they made ice-creams, cookies, sorbets and parfaits in week two, before undergoing an exam to test their practical skills and theoretical knowledge.