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What's Cooking At Dev Camp?

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- The session opened with a simple, straightforward question: “How many of you guys think you can fend for yourselves?”

Cooking class at TD Garden
Had this been directed at the Bruins prospects on the ice, or even in the weight room, all would have stepped forward confidently. But facing that question in the kitchen was a different story. Not all of them were as skilled behind the stove as they were on skates.

“Mac and cheese, grilled cheese, I think that was kind of it,” Bruins forward Tyler Seguin laughed. “But I learned some things here.”

The Legends kitchen at TD Garden was filled with every kind of important food imaginable: varying greens of lettuce labeled neatly on a stainless steel counter. Oils and spices filled a tabletop, and next to that, a cascading rainbow-colored display of fruits was cut and displayed clearly. Cod, salmon, chicken and steak awaited attention on a prep table, surrounded by various types of pastas and sauces.

It was a delicious lesson, to be sure, but a learning experience nonetheless: time to teach the new B’s how to cook and eat like the professionals.

The prospects listened attentively to descriptions of healthy foods, noting the benefits of certain spices, oils, meats and vegetables. Surprised at times by what was decidedly unhealthy, the players didn’t hesitate to pepper their teachers with questions, making the most of an unorthodox opportunity.

“Some nutrition classes are like a PowerPoint, so I was hoping it wasn’t that, I was hoping it was active, like this,” development camp veteran Tommy Cross said.

“I heard a lot, and I got to taste a lot, so it was productive.”

Each new Bruin was even gifted with his own meat thermometer, a further push to take ownership of cooking and eating food beneficial to their development as a player.

Some intrepid skaters, including Seguin, tried their hand at cooking for the team, stepping behind the stove to whip up dishes for their audience of peers. And as the plates of pasta, stir-frys, meats and fish circulated the room, their fellow players happily chowed down, unafraid to be the test subjects for the new chefs.

“I tried the stir-fry that [Ryan] Spooner made,” Cross said, adding with a laugh, “It was very good, spicy- I think he put a lot of spice in.”

“I would eat what they make- some of my teammates.”

It was another unique off-ice event at development camp, one designed to be fun, but also to teach an important lesson. And though the prospects enjoyed cooking –and eating!- the true value of the session wasn’t lost.

“I think this stuff is great, because this is all tied into hockey,” Cross explained. “It’s sometimes refreshing to do stuff that isn’t with a stick and a puck, but is still important to being a hockey player.”

---Elizabeth Traynor
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