Bulldogs in the Kitchen 2013
Football student-athlete Charles Washington cooking during Bulldogs in the Kitchen.
Football student-athlete Charles Washington cooking during Bulldogs in the Kitchen.

May 8, 2013

By Stephanie Juncker

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FRESNO, Calif. --- During the month of April over 100 Fresno State student-athletes, coaches and athletic department personnel participated in the 3rd annual Bulldogs in the Kitchen program put on by Fresno State's Food Science and Nutrition department specifically for Fresno State athletics.

"The Bulldogs in the Kitchen event is a wonderful program for our student-athletes," said associate athletics director for intercollegiate services Steve Robertello. "It is a great way for our student-athletes to learn the value of nutrition and cooking skills in a fun environment. We appreciate the willingness of the Food Science and Nutrition department to conduct this program and the value it provides for our student-athletes."

This year's program included seven nights during which Bulldogs from the equestrian, football, tennis, golf, swimming and diving, women's basketball and volleyball teams each participated in learning new skills in the kitchen as well as education about healthy eating.

Rayanne Nguyen, a senior dietetics major and member of the Fresno State swimming and diving team, served as a co-coordinator for the Bulldogs in the Kitchen event.

"We get the chance to work with student-athletes and teach food safety and cooking skills that many don't have much experience with," she said. "My favorite part is when an athlete tells you that they have never seen or done a certain thing before and can't wait to try it at home. As a student-athlete myself, I know how busy their schedules are, and what a struggle it is to eat healthy consistently. Hopefully this workshop was able to teach them a few skills that can be implemented in their daily life and encourage optimal performance."

The Bulldog student-athlete's prepared dinner which included a spring salad for the starter, wild rice with balsamic mushrooms as a side dish, chicken stir fry over brown rice for the main course and finally crepes for dessert. The student-athletes were put into different groups of about 3-4 and each had a hand in making all portions of the meal which leaves them with a variety of skills to implement at home.

"My experience was really good! I learned a lot of new things in cooking up a meal and how to read a recipe the correct way," said Patrick Su'a, a rising senior inside linebacker on the Bulldog football team. "The cooking workshop made me want to cook more and start eating healthier instead of options like fast food. This could help me have a healthier diet which is important as an athlete and save some money."

In addition to the evening's cooking lesson, each participant received a handbook prepared by the dietetic students that could serve as a "cheat sheet" or "how-to book" for things such as cooking skills, food safety, recipes, shopping lists and tips about eating healthy and how to fuel an athlete's body for peak performance.

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