Diamond BarHigh School

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Culinary Arts Featured On ABC7 News


"Organized chaos” was how Diamond Bar High School teacher Marcy Hail described the new Culinary Science class on Wednesday.


Student teams raced to decorate three-tier cakes that would be unveiled and judged during Open House the following evening.


"It has been an exhilarating experience to create and implement a brand-new culinary program and the students have been so much fun to work with!” Hail exclaimed.


The four-day assignment included designing the sweet confection offerings on posters, sculpting bases from Rice Krispies or Styrofoam, and finally making the cakes come to life.


All hands were on deck, as the teens tinted, kneaded, and rolled out the fondant “frosting” before applying finishing decorations.


“I like the creativity part of this class,” shared junior Michelle Grenados while learning how to pipe icing between the cake layers.


It’s fun,” added junior Nick Madrigal.


The pair were crafting a safari golden anniversary cake for the competition.

“This is an early morning class and I’m always excited to eat what we make,” Madrigal added.


“My favorite were the crepes!”


At another cooking station, a team was building a red and black Venom Spiderman cake.

“We wish the red (fondant) was darker,” said senior Amad Jazzar showing the reference photo on his cell phone.


“It’s pretty good for our very first cake!”


“I like to have students learn how to design events and everything that goes with it,” said Hail who was a wedding planner before she became a home economics teacher, taking over the class when her mother retired.


“I taught in the exact same classroom!”


Now, in her first year as a Brahma, Hail teaches five periods with about 180 teen chefs.


“I've been teaching for 14 years, but somehow every year finds something new! These kids are amazing!"


For the cake decorating assignment, Hail has students to think of themselves as the bakery with clients coming in to place an order.


“They have to make their cake look like the poster which is the hardest part,” she explained.


“They’re not winging it!”


The Culinary Science program boasts a traditional classroom for learning with adjacent lab where students can spread out during cooking activities.


“It’s a neat set up,” Hail said.


So far this year, students have done everything from caviar-tasting, sushi-rolling, Twinkie teambuilding, and more.


“I’m looking forward to designing more projects for the students in this course, and we will finish up with a food truck competition for our final,” she said.


“For over five years, we have explored the idea of adding a Culinary Science program to our list of Career Technical Education (CTE) offerings,” said Instructional Dean Gabriel Aguilar.


The opening of the school’s new Science building last year provided an opportunity to secure and redesign an appropriate classroom to host such a program. 


“We are excited see our students developing tangible skills that not only prepare them for careers in the culinary and hospitality sectors, but also allow them to feel confident in navigating their own kitchens!” he added.


Meanwhile, junior Dara Quezada was applying carefully gray fondant on a Snow White-themed cake.


“We’re thinking of putting some rock candy (made in class) inside for the mine,” she said.


Another layer would be covered in blue fondant with a bow to represent Snow White and topped with a red apple.


“It’s a work in progress!” she said.


“I came into this class to learn the basics which I have accomplished, thankfully,” shared junior Chris Phillips whose group was creating a Minecraft cake.


“My dad and my mom cook so I want to help out.”


“I did make a dish for Christmas, green beans - and they loved it!”