Whipping It Up With Apopka High

We’ve all walked down a hallway and smelled the delicious scent of cinnamon buns or chocolate chip cookies. If you don’t know where it’s coming from, The Blue and White can tell you! There is a thriving cooking class that is all the buzz around campus. The class is led by Ms. Rodriguez, who teaches “culinary for commercial food operations, it’s for a job. Like an entry level position. What I mainly teach is techniques, so if I were to give you a recipe with a certain technique, you should be able to do it. Technique is what you learn, recipe is how you practice,” she explains the most important skill in culinary is listening. She believes this because, “It’s hard to reteach what the students have already been taught by their parents, because you’re learning to cook at home, and I’m teaching you to cook in an operation. So following the exact directions, that’s the hard piece.” She also has different level classes which include, first, second and third year classes.

We also had a chance to interview some students in the class, Aniya Gantz, a junior at Apopka and Julianna Nadolny, also a junior. When asked what they thought was the most important thing they have learned, Aniya answered that,”Knife cuts, we use the different knife cuts in a lot of things that we make in this class. So learning the different styles and sizes of cuts will help in a minute.” Though Julianna believes that both spices and knife cuts are important, “The most important skills we learn in this class is definitely learning which spices and flavors go together and 100%– knife cuts because that’s the base of everything. If you don’t know knife skills, it’s hard to cook everything and it’s hard to make it look neat.” It’s most definitely safe to say that being crafty with a knife is helpful in this class. They also both say their favorite thing about this class is the chance to eat a nice snack at the end or in the middle of their day. They also cook varieties of different things like cookies, chicken bowls, shepherd’s pie, grains and starches. It’s a mix of sweets and home meals.


Speaking of the different things they cook, they do a little special thing for the teachers every Friday by making meals that the teachers can purchase for just five dollars. This is their first time doing this, and it’s already thriving. Ms. Rodriguez says she got the idea because, “The third years have to learn how to do a quantity of food, which means making a large quantity of food at one time. I thought if we did them on Fridays, that would be a way that they could make that quantity of food and see how a banquet would have to plate it up and get it out to the guest. It helps teach them a lot in one thing.”

If this sounds interesting to you, you can take the first class in 9th,10th or 11th grade, but if you were to take it in your junior year you will not finish the classes. They will be developing new criteria this year due to it being like an AP class. For example, having bad attendance can cause you to get behind due to the class moving fast and you will be missing a technique that is required to move on. You will get behind because they don’t just cook.

Julianna says she joined this class because, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook so I can cook for my family.” But Aniya says, “I decided to do this class because usually I’m tired, with no energy and hungry the whole day of school. With this class I am able to eat multiple times in a day.” What would be YOUR reason to join this class?

If you have any more questions, reach out to Ms. Rodriguez at [email protected]