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B.C. RCMP officer teaches empowerment through pasta

B.C. RCMP Const. Simon Bentley swapped his uniform for an apron to teach pasta making at the high school in Midway.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Jennifer Macfarlane
February 19, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A B.C police officer swapped his RCMP uniform for an apron and headed back to school to teach secondary school students the art of pasta making.

According to an RCMP media release, Const. Simon Bentley decided to host a cooking competition and returned to the classroom three days a week to teach Grade 11 and 12 students at Boundary Central Secondary School in Midway.

Bentley, who was previously a black seal chef who ran a restaurant and kitchen and supplied food for the Rocky Mountaineer train, brought fresh ingredients into the classroom and taught the students everything from how to make fresh pasta, to ravioli stuffing, and the perfect pasta sauce.

"Const. Bentley guided them on how to pair different herbs and spices with ingredients to enhance their flavour. He brought students up to the demonstration table and had them help with the preparation of different recipes. He taught them how to believe in themselves and trust they could create something delicious (not from a box)," Boundary Central Secondary home economics teacher Jennifer Macfarlane said in the release.

But more than that "he empowered them," Macfarlane said.

Macfarlane told iNFOnews.ca seeing the police officer out of uniform and in a different role instilled trust in the RCMP from the students.

And the as school liaison officer the students already knew the constable but their opportunity to cook with the cop changed their perspective.

"More than the learning of pasta was the positive connection he made with each of my students. In his role as chef, my students saw a different side of him and now each of them feels they have another adult in our community who cares about them and who they can approach to talk to about anything," Macfarlane said.

"We will cherish who he is and what he brings to our community," she said.

Macfarlane added the food was "delicious."

Correction: This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. Feb. 19, 2020. The original story said the students were in Grade 10. The students were in Grade 11 and 12.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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