HOSPITALITY students at Peel High School were treated to a cooking class with a difference yesterday when former My Kitchen Rules contestant Captain David Hopgood marched into the kitchen.
Captain Hopgood, who is ordinarily based in Townsville with an Australian Army infantry battalion, is a culinary dab-hand, making it to the finals of the top-rating televised cooking competition when it was aired earlier this year.
He and fellow digger Scott Bradshaw signed on together for the competition after fighting and training alongside one another as soldiers in Somalia, East Timor, Rwanda and the Asian tsunami and bonded over their hatred of ration packs.
Yesterday the Captain and his wife Catherine – who has worked internationally as a chef, including catering for the World Expo in Japan – demonstrated to students from Years 9 to 12 at Peel how to make churros, a Spanish-style doughnut.
School principal Bill Campbell said Captain Hopgood’s insights in the kitchen were invaluable for students.
“The demonstrations also offered another dimension that will make the experience even more worthwhile for students,” he said.
“As hospitality students use their study to develop an understanding of cooking and catering in a commercial environment, the demonstration today will provide an unparalleled experience.”
Ably assisted by his wife, Captain Hopgood, with some interwoven cooking humour, talked students through how to make the churros and a complementary chocolate dipping sauce.
Captain Hopgood’s active service with the Australian Army has included tours of duty in Afghanistan, East Timor and Rwanda.