Henry M. Gunn High School will offer a new Baking and Pastry class next school year, the newest addition to the family and consumer sciences career technical education pathway.
The capstone course will introduce students to topics ranging from kitchen basics to baking French pastries. It will expand on skills taught in other culinary arts classes, although there are no required prerequisites. The family and consumer sciences classes are all semester-long and can be taken independently or in combination with Baking and Pastry.
Family and consumer sciences teacher Cindy Peters said her experiences in summer culinary arts programs inspired her to create the Baking and Pastry course.
“I would go every summer and take classes until we’d done all of the croissants and pâte à choux,” Peters said. “Last year, [I was] going through the things that I found on my notes and I said, ‘I’ve always wanted to teach this.’ [Baking and Pastry] is just wonderful, and it’s fun, and the kids love it.”
Gunn students can opt to receive their CTE credits — graduation requirements designed to equip students with modern skills — through the family and consumer sciences pathway. As the capstone course, Baking and Pastry will combine and expand on skills taught in the five other classes in the pathway, which include Introduction to Culinary Science, Culinary Science: International and Regional, Sports and Nutrition, Fiber Arts and Fashion Design and Interior Design.
Sophomore Sonali Dhir, who took culinary arts last year, said that the new Baking and Pastry course sounds interesting.
“For anyone interested in [Baking and Pastry], I think it’s a good opportunity,” Dhir said. “Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience, then I would say it would be the perfect fit for you.”
Peters said she encourages interested students to enroll because Baking and Pastry is a hands-on and fun class that provides opportunities for students to explore their interests.
“I think there’s a lot of kids here at Gunn that need to think about what they really want to do with their life and what’s going to be really fun for them,” Peters said. “I think that they need to have some choices.”
Peters said that the class can also serve as a way for students to destress and focus on their mental health.
“We just need to encourage students to just not be quite so hard on themselves,” Peters said. “Baking and making pastries is one of the most fun things you can do to relax.”