TAMPA, Florida – The pre-game meal has a whole new meaning for the USF men’s football team.
This is because a moment in the making was going to be a good appetite. Or skip the Pepto Bismol.
These bulls traded their crampons and shin guards for hairnets and aprons. They gathered in the main kitchen of USF’s Mitchell Center to learn how to cook a nutritious meal from scratch.
“I’ve never cooked, I’ll be honest,” said junior center-back Sal Mazzaferro. “Sorry mum. I’ve never cooked in my life so it was pretty good. I was picking up some tips there. How to stir, I’ve never done that before.
Armed with recipes, whips, and a sense of adventure, the Bulls cooked up a full dinner that included salad, chicken, salmon, and a banana-inspired dessert.
“I saw it all in there,” Mazzaferro said. “It’s not easy work and it’s hard work for them. And it’s amazing to see someone else’s perspective. “
After an unlikely year where COVID-19 delayed the start of their season and threatened to end it at any time, watching the players go wild and have fun was quite a spectacle.
“It’s been a tough year and maybe they were kind of stuck in places they didn’t want to be or had a hard time,” said head coach Bob Butehorn. “Just so that I can do something like that which is a little more fun but also a learning experience.”
After cooking the entire meal, the team sat down to sample the fruits and vegetables from their work. It was a lot of mixing. But much more connection.
“Anything to do with communication, groups or better leadership sometimes,” right-back Henrique Gallina said, “the whole procedure, communication and interaction between the group, whatever we let’s do the outside apply to the inside of the field. “
That’s why Coach Butehorn has run this cooking class every season for the past four years. He knows that the camaraderie of the kitchen in this kitchen will translate into the soccer field.
“Anything that goes out of their normal comfort zone and allows them to express themselves and enjoy is kind of a puzzle,” Butehorn said. “And it’s also great for me to see if they can read the instructions.” “
Too many cooks in the kitchen is usually a bad thing. But not with these USF Bulls.
“It’s just a good activity for them to connect,” said Butehorn. “It’s a young team, so now is the perfect time to bring them together.