Six Gold Coast SUNS players proved they knew their way around a kitchen at Park Ridge State High School today.
Tom Nicholls, Josh Hall, Aaron Hall, Clay Cameron, Tim Sumner and Alex Sexton helped 40 of the school’s students how to whip up a Thai beef salad, as part of the Australia Post AFL Community Camp.
The students were some of the school’s 200 AFL students, who are studying the sport as part of the AFL Queensland Schools of Excellence program.
While sports nutrition theory is taught as part of this, today’s cooking class was their first practical lesson.
Park Ridge’s Head of Health and Physical Education, Craig McBrien, said it was great for the kids to meet some AFL players and learn from them.
“I think it just keeps it in perspective. Your idols or those guys playing seem untouchable.
“When they come out to schools, the kids can put a face to a name and realise they’re people who cook their own meals, eat their own meals and prepare for games similarly to them.”
“It gives a more realistic edge to the (AFL) program as well.”
SUNS ruckman, Nicholls, looked right at home in the kitchen alongside Aaron Hall and Tim Sumner, but said his cooking repertoire was pretty small.
“Beef stir fry’s probably my go-to, but it drops off a bit after that,” he said.
Nicholls said he enjoyed being out in the community and acknowledged the importance of these kinds of initiatives.
“It helps the footy club, but it helps us, doing different activities like cooking with the kids and stuff like that,” he said.
“We’d be nothing without them, so anything we can give back to them, we’re happy to do it.
“It helps the community and will keep them on the right path as well.”
Nicholls, who still remembers former Demon, Colin Sylvia, visiting his school as a teen, said he hoped they’d given the students a lasting memory.
“This is probably a bit more interactive than a clinic, with cooking, so hopefully these guys will remember that for a long time.
Park Ridge AFL student and Queensland Youth Girls representative, Jade Ransfield, relished the chance to meet some of her heroes.
“They’re one of the teams I support – they’re an inspiration,” she said.
“To have these guys helping us out was an awesome experience.”
Cook the SUNS Thai Beef Salad, with this recipe (serves 2):
11/2 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tbs finely chopped dark palm sugar
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 (approx. 680g) rump steak
1 x 200g packet grape tomatoes, halved
1 continental cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced diagonally
1 red onion, halved, cut into thin wedges
2 long fresh red chillies, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced length ways
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, large leaves torn
1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked
1 bunch fresh Thai basil, leaves picked, large leaves torn
55g (1/3 cup) toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, centre veins removed, finely shredded
Thin rice vermicelli noodles.
1. Whisk together lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil and soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a jug. Place the steak in a glass or ceramic dish. Drizzle with half the dressing. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge, turning occasionally to develop the flavours
2. Preheat a barbecue grill or char grill pan on high. Cook steak on grill for 2-3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking.
3. Place the tomato, cucumber, onion, chilli, mint, coriander, basil, peanuts and lime leaves in a large bowl. Thinly slice steak across the grain and add to the salad. Drizzle with remaining dressing and gently toss to combine. Toss through drained rice noodles. Divide salad among bowls and serve immediately.