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Bringing love through baking

The+culinary+students+have+been+planning+for+months+and+also+received+assistance+from+other+programs+within+Bowie+in+preparation+for+the+Valentine%E2%80%99s+Bake+Sale
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Bringing love through baking

The culinary students have been planning for months and also received assistance from other programs within Bowie in preparation for the Valentine’s Bake Sale

The culinary students have been planning for months and also received assistance from other programs within Bowie in preparation for the Valentine’s Bake Sale

Rey Grey

The culinary students have been planning for months and also received assistance from other programs within Bowie in preparation for the Valentine’s Bake Sale

Rey Grey

Rey Grey

The culinary students have been planning for months and also received assistance from other programs within Bowie in preparation for the Valentine’s Bake Sale

By Avery Shelton, James Bowie High School

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Chocolate covered strawberries, truffles, brownies, and more are just a small sampling of the Valentine’s Day treats available to order from the culinary classes for their annual fundraiser.

The culinary students have been planning for months and also received assistance from other programs within Bowie in preparation for the Valentine’s Bake Sale, which will have orders available for pickup on Feb. 14.

“We started our planning in December and had help from the practicum in the graphic design class in redesigning our sales materials,” instructor chef Richard Winemiller said. “It is also important to get the students motivated to make a lot of sales so we will be successful in meeting our fundraising goals.”

Throughout the year, the culinary program hosts and provides food for many different events.

“Most of the events that we prepare and serve for are designed to break even, which allows us to cook a lot and get a lot of experience without having to worry about fundraising restrictions,” Winemiller said.

Students have specific detailed jobs and tasks to help promote and plan for events to ensure the best outcome for the program.

“Basically, I reached out to other feeder schools to see if they were interested in obtaining sales info and set up dates and times for promotional stunts,” social media, marketing, and promotions manager senior Asia Vo said.

Putting on a successful fundraiser and bake sale comes with a lot of work and time dedicated to getting it ready, according to those involved in culinary.

“The biggest task as the teacher, assisted by the seniors in my culinary management class, is getting everything organized for taking orders, then scaling recipes and calculating the amounts of ingredients to order,” Winemiller said.

The bake sale has become a popular culinary event for students.

“With our Valentine’s event our pre-sales are very student driven, so we had to market pre sales for two weeks just getting the word out and taking orders,” senior vice president Grace Mansen said.

Behind every event put on by the culinary program, there is an abundance of behind the scenes work to prepare the food for delivery and for being served. Students like Vo spend hours of time in contribution.

“When taking in account the time I spent and will spend in culinary management on promotions, in and outside of school activities, I’d probably say I spend about 10 hours personally and about 15 hours with other students,” Vo said.

Students that are not in the program can see the effort that goes into the events the classes put on and the overall benefits that come with taking the course.

“I like how culinary programs prepare students for the real world and I think they are very beneficial to the students who take them,” sophomore Katie Puperi said. “Especially if they’re thinking of pursuing a culinary career.”

Puperi, among other students, enjoys having easy access to baked Valentine’s Day goods during school hours.

“I like the idea of having a bake sale during school, it is convenient and is a good way to support their fundraiser,” Puperi said. “It’s also festive for Valentine’s Day and I remember everything tasting very good last year.”

Participating in these tasks help prepare students who wish to pursue careers in the field.

“I transferred to Bowie specifically for culinary and I plan to go to school for Culinary Science. I have a passion for [it] and I could never imagine leaving the field,” Vo said.

Other preparations for this sale included lessons on the history of chocolate, basic techniques in handling and working with it, and even a chocolate taste testing.

“My students get experience working in a realistic job environment and develop skills in time management, collaboration and people skills,” Winemiller said.

In addition to many useful life skills, culinary students also earn their Food Handler’s License and their Sanitation Manager’s certificate in the different levels of the program.

“I feel that the culinary program is primarily beneficial for anyone who has an interest in a career working with food, whether as a chef, restaurant manager/owner or any of hundreds of other careers,” Winemiller said. “Those are the students the program is mainly designed to serve, but there are a lot of other benefits to be had by taking culinary at Bowie.”

According to the culinary students, they are thankful for the work experience the sale gives them and are excited for their attributed hard work to be shared with the rest of the school.

“Chef always tries to make class and prep as close to a real culinary experience as physically possible,” Vo said. “So with events like these, it helps a lot to see what the industry is actually like and grow from my mistakes in order to improve for the future.”

This story was originally published on The Lone Star Dispatch on February 16, 2019.

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