What’s cooking in the classroom

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What’s cooking in the classroom

Hope Sickels, Staff Contributor

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This classroom is much different from the typical classroom. It has ovens and stoves and the students are holding utensils like forks and knives rather pens and pencils. The culinary department at Pleasant Valley has been teaching students about cooking for years. The classrooms are for learning the basics of the kitchen and how to cook safely and properly.

Throughout high school, the electives available are for students to choose what they prefer to do. There are four culinary options to pick from in the family and consumer science section. Food prep is the basic of all the courses. A student has to complete this course before deciding to pursue any of the other options: Spartan bakery, international cuisine, and top chef. Teacher Claire Slifka, teaches all the courses except Spartan bakery.   

Food prep is the prerequisite course for cooking classes at the high school. In that class, students learn the necessary information in order to advance in the kitchen setting.

Debbie Claussen is the teacher of the spartan bakery class. In that class, students bake all sort of desserts like apple pies and pumpkin pies for the fall season. They also make quick bread, cheesecake and cookies.

Claussen said, “With baking, chemistry is involved. So you have to follow the formula if you want the dish to turn out.” In this way, the baking class is kind of like math. Students have to use the formula or recipe to achieve the desired outcome.

Senior Drew Guinn is taking the food prep class right now and next semester he chose to take Spartan bakery. He said, “It’s more fun.” His friends around all nodded in agreement and had chose to do the same thing. Since food prep will be done and out of the way, any of the culinary options are available to him if he chooses to pursue a different course.

Claussen talked about “tasty videos” that the students in Spartan bakery have to make. They are short videos, around two minutes, that completely show and teach a full recipe. She is hoping that the tasty videos could possibly play on the second TV in the commons area. “I think it’d be a neat way for the students to show off the recipe they chose,” stated Claussen.