Culinary II students explore different recipes in the kitchen Learning how to work in the kitchen with the help of their group

Although his group needed to remove peanut butter from their recipe, junior Mikko Cruz’s cookies came out well for the first batch. Students in Culinary II made no-bake cookies for their first project. “The cookies were really good,” Cruz said. “They were really sweet, and not as dry as I thought they would be.” Photo Credit: Ayma Malik
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Students in Culinary II are starting their first cooking project of the year with no-bake chocolate cookies.

Chef Michael Hadobas chose to give his students a no-bake recipe because students have not learned proper baking techniques yet. Normally, this lab is assigned to Culinary I students and is a much shorter unit. However, Hadobas felt his Culinary II students needed more practice with basic procedures after distance learning.

“It’s obvious that there are gaps in learning from where my Culinary II students would normally be, and I did expect this,” Hadobas said. “We essentially started from page one this year. We went through workplace safety, safety and sanitation, measurements, and basic equipment. We review a lot of these standards every year, but I made sure to slow down and verify mastery with these students before we began our cooking lessons.”

In this project, students needed to work in groups to review the recipe and pick individual roles.

“This lesson has been expanded greatly this year,” Hadobas said. “As a newer teacher I’m still learning what works in my classroom, and really taking our time on this unit has been very helpful for me and my students. It’s given my students very low-stakes opportunities to practice working in a kitchen, [and] it’s given me the opportunity to get to know my students better as well as their work habits. “

With this being the students first lab, many made small mistakes and had to start over.

“I had to scale out the ingredients and grab the equipment,” sophomore Vinson He said. “[But] we messed up on the measurement of one of those and we had to do it all over again. Plus, there were some communication errors.”

Hadobas chose to give students a no-bake recipe because students did not learn Hadobas plans on making pumpkin spice no-bake cookies next year instead with the students, due to the many recent allergies, but students had fun making an easy recipe.

“I thought my students would struggle with time management, locating equipment in the kitchen, and cleaning,” Hadobas said. “They really surprised me. It was a very successful first lab, all of the groups completed the recipe with plenty of time to clean, and we were able to have a good debrief and celebrate the students’ accomplishments.”