High School Students Shine in Culinary Showcase

The first-ever high school culinary arts showcase for Baldwin Park and Sierra Vista High School students took place last month, marking a significant milestone in the schools' culinary programs. Nineteen high school students participated in the event, presenting their culinary skills to their families through a four-course plated meal.

The showcase menu featured a diverse range of dishes:

  1. First Course: Watermelon Salad - A refreshing mix of baby greens, feta cheese, watermelon, Tajin, and jalapeño lime vinaigrette.

  1. Second Course: Fried Corn Masa Empanadas with Oaxaca Cheese - Two fried corn masa empanadas with Oaxaca cheese, shredded cabbage, radish, smoked pork tomate frito sauce, and salsa matcha.

  1. Third Course: Smoked Mole Rojo Beef Brisket - Mole Rojo dry-rubbed beef brisket smoked for eight hours, served with house-made mole rojo sauce, cilantro oil, cilantro sprigs, pickled red onion, charred cherry tomatoes, agave lime glazed corn riblets, and charred lime.

  1. Fourth Course: Chocolate Covered Bavarian Dome - A decadent dessert with vanilla Bavarian cream, strawberry gelée, chocolate cake, and chocolate ganache.

Students showcased their favorite parts of the program, including plating, tasting, and ensuring flavors complemented each other. Families were thrilled to watch their children cooking and working hard in the kitchen, capturing the moments through photos and videos taken at the door.

"This program gives students the foundational skills needed in the foodservice and hospitality industry," said Chef Brandon Palmer, Instructor of Food Service & Hospitality-Culinary Arts at Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education. "It also teaches teamwork, which is essential as these young adults move on to the next chapter in their lives."

Chef Palmer, who has been with Baldwin Park Unified for 14 years, experienced his first year teaching high school students. "I enjoyed seeing the growth of these young adults and look forward to seeing them continue to grow and succeed in whichever career path they choose," he added.

Baldwin Park Unified recognizes the value of culinary arts and is committed to offering robust opportunities for students at all educational levels. Culinary Arts is a part of the District’s CTE courses with offerings in high school and adult school. 



*Courtesy of Chef Brandon Palmer