Crafting your cookbook

From recipes to food-related illnesses, culinary students engage with one another while completing textbook work.

From recipes to food-related illnesses, culinary students engage with one another while completing textbook work. "I'm learning a lot in here and this [Culinary Arts] is something I would like to pursue," sophomore Brooke Whitton said. "This has all stuck-out to me because it's something that I enjoy doing... it's entertaining and interesting for me."

Robin Ntankeh

From in front of cutting boards to behind textbooks, the culinary students hung up their aprons for a day as they busied themselves with studying the safety hazards of a kitchen. For the entire class period, wrinkled pages flipped back and forth between chapters, pencils were scratching against papers at lightning speed and students were peeking over each other’s shoulder as they compared answers.

“So far, we’re learning about all the illnesses and sicknesses you can get from food and what to do to prevent it,” sophomore Shelby Witschey said. “Some of it was common knowledge, but it was just common knowledge that I didn’t know much about. So it did open my eyes ‘cause now I’m nervous that I am gonna get sick.”

With a large class, lessons are occasionally hectic with students trying to put together their recipes and cook their meals in a timely manner for lab days. The teacher’s helper makes sure to keep everything and everyone in check.  

“I’m actually not really in the class so I don’t know exactly what we’re learning, I’m just the helper,” junior Bryson Becker said. “What I do as the helper is whatever Ms. T [Ms.Tezak] asks for me to do. I get it done, whether it’s preparing food that’s for homecoming, going to get certain things to make a lab that the kids do and just being there for her aid and just helping out other kids when they need help. I love being a helper. It’s fun; it gives me something to do, and it’s enjoyable for me.”

However, the students work around the clock each day, stirring up various ingredients for soups and sauces to perfect their craft; maybe even incorporating these meals into their own menus at home.

“We’ve baked cookies and ate them. I think they were Mexican Wedding Cookies,” freshmen Hannah Coleman said. “We also cut up ham, made food from a food processor and we’ve also made tomato pesto soup. The soup was my favorite thing we’ve cooked so far. It just tasted really good and I don’t like tomato soup.”