On Friday, March 15, SCCS High School students in the Culinary Arts class participated in their very own Cupcake Wars. Five groups of students worked together in groups to plan, prepare and execute their designs. Six judges compared cupcakes based on flavor, texture, creativity and presentation. The winners will make their cupcakes for the SCCS gala.
“Students draw upon the baking skills I have taught them, and they get to tap into the creative side of cooking,” shared Mrs. Plew, Culinary Arts teacher. “Students really love this project because the sky’s the limit with creativity not only in how certain flavors work well together but also in the way they present their cupcakes in the final result.”
The Cupcakes Wars are part of the class’ baking unit. Students in Culinary Arts have already learned and grown through Safety and Sanitation, Facilities and Equipment, Fruits/Vegetables, Grains/Nuts/Seeds/Legumes, Eggs, Soups and Sauces, Hospitality. They will end the semester learning about preparing and handling meat.
“Each team had to plan the flavor of the cupcake, frosting as well as any decorations they needed to finish it off,” continued Mrs. Plew. “They completed a planning sheet to help guide them through this process. Then they talked through their plan with me so we can make sure to have all the supplies they needed as well as time to finish. They took a week to prep their ingredients. I gave them the day before the competition to practice and taste their finalized product to see if any necessary changes are needed. The day of the competition was so fun! The kids really get into it and there is a buzzing in the kitchen as they all hustle to get their cupcakes assembled for the judges.”
The Culinary Arts class enriches students’ lives by giving them the necessary tools and practice in order to make meals that they can carry into adulthood. They are exposed to ingredients and techniques that are new to them and they are educated about different ways to use food to create delicious meals and experiences.
“My main goal for these students, both middle school and high school, is that they come to realize how easy it is for them to create delicious food on their own,” shared Mrs. Plew. “I want them to be able to sustain themselves when they are on their own, or hopefully sooner. I also want to instill in them how food can be used to bless others and taking that extra step really brings a smile to others.”
To further enrich students’ experience in Culinary Arts, the class were served a five-course meal at the COC Culinary program and enjoyed a tour of their facilities. In April, the class will plan and serve appetizers for the SCCS Open House. Additionally, Dawn hopes to take them to the grocery store so they can have the full experience of planning, shopping for and preparing food.
“These activities are so important for the kids because they are able to practice the skills they are learning and exercise the act of hospitality. We talk about the Biblical principle of hospitality and what it means and looks like. The students get to see the joy of making food for others and have a first-hand experience of people enjoying and appreciating their hard work,” continued Mrs. Plew. “I thoroughly enjoy teaching this class. I have always loved and worked with kids and to be able to share my love of food and cooking with them is such a pleasure. It is such a joy to see their faces light up when they taste food they worked so hard to make. They almost don’t believe they can do it. To share with them this accomplishment and then hear them say ‘I can’t believe how good this is and I made it’ is so rewarding. I have had several graduates come back and tell me how they are using their skills now that they are on their own.”
The Culinary Arts program at SCCS is a fine art elective offered for high school students. SCCS is the only school in the state to be able to offer this as a fine arts class.