A Cooking Class for the SMCS Community

A St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) first occurred on Sunday, April 25, when members of the community gathered to share in a virtual cooking class.

Parents, alumni, students, faculty, and staff logged in from the comfort of their kitchens in Toronto and as far away as Virginia, U.S., to learn from Chef Damian Harrington (1986-88), along with The Foodies Group founder, Steven Hellmann ’96. Working from their restaurant kitchen in Niagara Falls, guests were treated to a lesson on making homemade tomato sauce and preparing both chicken and eggplant parmigiana.

Chef Damian Harrington during the SMCS Alumni Association event, Cooking with The Foodies Group


“The Alumni Association collaborated with Steven Hellmann and The Foodies Group as they have assisted with multiple alumni events and we were more than happy to offer the SMCS community a complimentary cooking class,” shares Matt Montemurro ’05, Alumni Association Vice President. “We have lost so many opportunities to come together as a community, but this seemed like a fun way to interact with everyone and a way to give back.”

A finished meal prepared during the SMCS Cooking with The Foodies Group event.


See what the participants had to say about their experience:

“Thank you SMCS for hosting the virtual cooking class. Steven from The Foodies Group and Chef Damian were entertaining and educational. The family had a wonderful time following along and our chicken parmigiana turned out delicious!” - Christina Blazanin, SMCS parent 

SMCS community member participating in the Cooking with The Foodies Group virtual cooking class.

“I’m not ashamed to say that this was not only my first virtual cooking experience, but my first Zoom call experience as well. Chef Damian and Steven, along with all those behind the scenes made it enjoyable, easy, and most importantly, a welcome interaction with those from the St. Michael’s community. Thank you to all who participated as it made for a fantastic afternoon and certainly to those who worked to coordinate the event. Looking forward to reconnecting with the St. Mike’s family again at the next occasion.” - Brandon Burlon ’07  

“We had looked forward to Cooking with The Foodies Group all week. We had a blast! Chef Damian was patient, entertaining, and gave a master class in cooking the delicious chicken parmesan and all the fixings. Steven was the perfect moderator, knowledgeable and accessible. It was great to see the St. Mike's community at home enjoying time together, albeit in cyberspace. Cheers everyone! Buono appetito!” - Rui De Sousa ’88    

“Conor and I had so much fun, and it was nice getting together with the other SMCS families. Again, thank you.” - Patty Hough, SMCS parent, and son Conor, a Grade 12 student 

SMCS student joined the Cooking with The Foodies Group virtual cooking class.

“Wonderful event! Kavita and I enjoyed it very much! Terrific planning and organization.” - David Fischer, SMCS Director of Admissions.

“The joy of cooking for others and with others! It was a great experience for me!” - Cade Menezes, Grade 9 student 

“Thank you for The Foodies Group. I am not the cook in the family, but I made an amazing dish. Please give my regards to the Chef. It was great and fun!” - Natalie Morgan, SMCS parent

“On behalf of the Peacock family, my father, John Peacock ’52 and I would like to say this was a very enjoyable event that brought the family together across Canada and United States. Dinner was awesome! Please extend our thanks to all involved.” - Michael Peacock ’84

“Thanks so much to the Alumni Association for organizing the cooking class! It was a great way to see some old classmates as well as spend a few hours in the kitchen with the kids. We had a great time as a family and learned a few valuable tips and tricks that will serve us very well for future family meals.” - Paul Santi ’99

SMCS parent participating in the Cooking with The Foodies Group virtual cooking class.


“I decided to join in as I thought it would be fun to learn from expert chefs and then share the meal with my mom and dad, Armand ’58, OSM.” - Carol Scaini, a friend of SMCS. 

“What better way to stay connected to our St. Mike’s family than to spend a Sunday afternoon making a great dinner together! Lots of fun hearing so many of us struggle through the process but in the end it was delicious. Kudos for organizing this and I hope there are more of these………. pandemic or not!  Buon appetito e saluti!” - Frank Tersigni, SMCS parent

SMCS student joined the Cooking with The Foodies Group virtual cooking class.


“My whole family enjoyed my cooking! Thank you for the great experience that St. Michael’s College School has offered. What a great time that I spent on Sunday afternoon and it was an amazing dinner!” - Cindy Wang, SMCS parent

If you missed it, you can join any time by purchasing these ingredients and following along to this video: