Farmingdale Flambé


Jake Miller, Staff Writer

Farmingdale High School has many electives and clubs that are tailored to the many different strengths and interests of its student body. Among this variety of choices is a set of culinary classes. Classes such as Foods, Advanced Foods, and Baking are all good options for anyone interested in culinary arts. As someone who has taken all three of these classes throughout my high school career, I consider myself a decent authority on recommending this set of electives.

So what do these classes entail? I personally began with Foods, the prerequisite to Advanced Foods (although you can also start with Baking). Foods is a full-year, one-period class that takes you through the basics of cooking. You learn knife skills, food safety, proper technique, and ingredient measuring all while putting this information into action by making real recipes. Learning while cooking food and getting to eat it after is definitely one of the most unique learning experiences I’ve had throughout my pre-college academic life. 

Advanced Foods can be taken after completing a full year of Foods. This class takes you through many of the same skills but digs deeper into more challenging techniques and recipes. My time in this class was a bit less fun (it was during the lockdown), but it still managed to be a fun class when we were allowed back in the classroom. Baking teaches you in a similar way, but of course you are now making baked products. The structure of the class is also a bit different as it is split into Baking 1 and Baking 2, both half-year classes. I personally took both Baking 1 and Baking 2 back-to-back in my senior year, but you can structure this however you are comfortable. These classes are also something extra to put on your college applications, which is always beneficial. 

Taking these culinary classes can not only be a fun and different experience in school, but it can also be a pathway for your CTE certification. CTE (Career and Technical Education) certifications have been a thing in Farmingdale for a while now, and culinary could always be a part of that. However, in the past you have needed at least one business class in tandem with the cooking classes to achieve this. Now, however, taking Foods, Advanced Foods, Baking 1, and Baking 2 will get you that certification all on its own. If everything goes as it should, I will be receiving this certification at the end of this school year. Not only is it an extra tassel on your graduation cap, but it’s also something colleges will consider.

The class also has two great teachers. Mrs. Kreuter covers the baking-oriented classes, while Mrs. Akeson covers the cooking-oriented classes. I have had the pleasure of learning from both of them and not only are they kind teachers, they are also great at helping you along with your experience while cooking. Mrs. Akeson was my teacher for both Foods and Advanced Foods. My Advanced Foods year took place during lockdown, so let’s focus more on my experience in Foods. This was my first ever culinary experience and it is a daunting thing. Mrs. Akeson was an amazing teacher though, and I quickly got a handle on what I was doing. My favorite memory from that class was definitely the food truck. During the year, some young kids were coming to the school with their parents as a part of the Child Development class, and Mrs. A. was asked to cater it. She then asked anyone interested to spend the school day on a food truck giving out the products we had made. This was a super fun experience and I recommend this to anyone if it is available to you. Mrs. Kreuter is also a great teacher. This is my first year with her in Baking but I have enjoyed it so far. Going more in depth on the science of yeast and the importance of accurate measurement in baking has been an enlightening experience. These classes would not be what they are without the teachers. 

I was never immediately interested in Culinary classes, but I decided one day in eighth grade that I would try it freshman year. This was definitely one of my better high school decisions as it led me to one of the better experiences I have had in my four years at Farmingdale High School. Because of that, I feel inclined to recommend this course to anyone, early or late in their high school career. You will not regret it.