COVINA, CA – South Hills High School students bake pies, temper eggs, layer pastry dough, and much more in the school’s Culinary Arts career technical education (CTE) pathway, setting them up for a successful career as a chef, baker, prep cook, restaurant manager, or any other restaurant job they desire.
Students start the two-year CTE pathway with an introductory class, where they learn safety and sanitation, knife handling skills, and different cooking and baking techniques. Students then move on to the Capstone class, where they learn higher-level skills and switch off between making savory and sweet dishes.
“Cooking is a vital skill that many kids in today’s world aren’t learning anymore,” Culinary Arts teacher Anna Redd said. “There will always be jobs in the culinary industry – these jobs can’t be replaced by machines, like so many other jobs can. It really is an art.”
Students in the pathway have the option to participate in the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), a program that offers internships, mentoring opportunities, classes, and more. Seniors can also join the C-CAP’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships, in which high school seniors put their cooking skills to the test for the chance to win cash and scholarship prizes. Students attend a training at Los Angeles Trade Technical College during first semester to learn which dish they will be asked to prepare and be trained in the basics of its preparation. Students are then given time to practice before the preliminary competition in March, followed by the final competition in May.
“My favorite thing about the Culinary Arts Pathway is how I can connect with people, make friends, and create delicious food,” South Hills High senior Daniel Barragan said. “I’ve made the pizza recipe we learned in class many times at home and I love it every single time!”
Students who take the Culinary Arts Pathway leave with a Food Handlers Permit and an abundance of hands-on experience in cooking techniques.
“I love getting to see my students learn and grow throughout the pathway,” Redd said. “They get so excited when a concept clicks in their head and I get to see their confidence grow in the kitchen. They really take ownership of the program and are always thrilled to share the dishes they make with their friends and families.”
Culinary Arts Pathway graduates have gone on to work in prestigious restaurants in the Los Angeles area, start their own catering business, and even work with world-famous chefs.
“South Hills High School’s Culinary Arts Pathway is just another example of one of the amazing and unique opportunities that we offer our students at Covina-Valley Unified,” Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “We love to see our students learn and grow skills that will help them thrive in the workforce!”
CVUSD_CULINARY1: South Hills High School students place a pie in the oven, made with skills learned in the school’s Culinary Arts career technical education Pathway. Students learn about kitchen safety and sanitation, knife handling skills, and different cooking and baking techniques throughout the two-year program.
CVUSD_CULINARY2: A South Hills High School senior participates in the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships. The competition allows students in South Hills’ Culinary Arts Pathway to put their cooking skills to the test for the chance to win cash and scholarship prizes.