Students get expert advice from Margaret River’s Masterchef

Community cooking: Samira Damirova with some of the Montessori School students helping in the kitchen for Soup Day. Photos: Nicky Lefebvre
Community cooking: Samira Damirova with some of the Montessori School students helping in the kitchen for Soup Day. Photos: Nicky Lefebvre

Samira Damirova doesn’t mind cooking in a kitchen built for kids.

“The benches are the perfect height,” jokes the petite mum of two as she prepares her famous lentil soup for the Margaret River Montessori School’s regular soup day. 

Part of the school’s winter schedule each year, soup day provides an opportunity for upper primary school children to roll up their sleeves and help in creating hearty pots of their favourite soups, including the cutely-named ‘Montess-strone’.

Damirova’s two children attend the school and she said it was the perfect opportunity for her to give back to the school community who helped support her family while she was away during the cooking competition.

“I’ve been away for six months, and this school community was just so fantastic and continues to be so great in supporting us,” she said.

“Of course I jumped at the chance to come in and do this, it’s a good way for me to show my appreciation for everything the school does for us.”

The healthy lentil soup is a recipe Damirova can knock out with her eyes closed, and teamed with fresh bread made with the kids in the Montessori kitchen, is one she said she can always rely on for her family.

“My kids really love this soup, it’s got heaps of vegies in it and I can just leave it until it’s ready to serve and just blend it at the end, so easy!”

Montessori teacher Lee-Anne French said the school was grateful for Damirova’s time in the kitchen.

“We feel really lucky that we have people like Samira who can come in and help us with soup day, which is an important and popular part of the school year,” she said.

“The children are very much part of the cooking as well as the entire serving and dining process, they set the tables for each other and practice the Montessori principles of Grace and Courtesy while they’re enjoying their meal.”