Cooking up passions

Seiya Mutreja, Staff Reporter

Aromas fill the hallway as the students practice and prepare their plates. For some, this is simply a fun hobby; for others, this is the beginning of what they hope will be a lifelong career.

The Culinary has elective meets every week in the culinary classroom to teach students cooking skills through teaching sessions and cooking activities. The goal for this year is to teach students safe cooking techniques to make delicious dishes. Taking a step in that direction, the students completed their Food Handlers certification last week.

Photo Credit: Rasika Patel

“We learn about skills in the kitchen like cutting techniques,” senior Will Jackson said. “We also learn how to cook different foods like biscuits or hand-made pasta.”

The classes usually have a set structure. During the first half, the students learn cooking skills, and for the second half, they practice skill application. 

“We get started on the day’s skill or project, generally entailing a lab assignment and notes,” sophomore Rasika Patel said. “Sometimes we would have a discussion question to start the class.”

The elective opens up many opportunities for students interested in culinary arts. It caters to people planning to pursue culinary professionally as well as those learning it as a hobby.

“I’m excited to learn some good cooking techniques before I go to college,” Jackson said. “I thought the class would be a good and fun learning experience, and so far it is.”

Most students say the elective is a fun experience and look forward to the year ahead.

“I am looking forward to learning new skills and learning how to safely and effectively create new dishes,” Patel said. “I am probably most excited about baking and applying cooking techniques.” 

Jackson believes that, in addition to being a great class for obtaining culinary knowledge, The Culinary has been beneficial in forming strong friendships as well. 

“I would tell [Vandegrift students] to totally do it,” Jackson said. “It is a great learning experience and wonderful opportunity to make new friends.”