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Columbus City Schools Students Gain Cooking Skills During Summer Experience

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July 8, 2024 In between lessons to improve their curriculum fundamentals, Columbus City Schools (CCS) students at Huy Elementary School are getting comfortable in the kitchen. 

girl mixing lemonade in pitcherHuy is one of the District’s Summer Experience sites, and the program focuses on teaching students culinary skills. Professionals from across the city come into the building’s on-site kitchen to show students how to make everything from no-bake cinnamon rolls to chilled sesame noodles. 

“The cinnamon rolls were so good; everyone loved them,” rising 5th-grader Fiyinfoluwa Odeyemi said. “I wanted to be at this school this summer because of the culinary. I love cooking.”

Odeyemi is a regular in her home's kitchen, and she’s enjoying the opportunity to learn new recipes at school this summer. Culinary instructors and chefs from around the city visit the students to show them new recipes and teach food safety. 

Theresa Troy, a Summer Experience instructor at Huy, said food safety is especially important because it’s something that the students may not learn at home. They’re learning how to safely use kitchen equipment, a skill they can continue to use in their daily lives. 

Troy said the chefs also show students different flavor combinations to help them expand their palates. 

“They’re trying new flavors and foods they haven’t tried before, like feta cheese and watermelon,” Troy said. “That’s something really different for them; they’re really enjoying that.”

Troy said the students have greatly enjoyed what they’ve been learning, and she hopes they will feel empowered to use this new kitchen knowledge. This is the first year for the culinary Summer Experience pathway, and Troy wants to see it continue. 

“They love it. They’re learning more; they’re experiencing more,” Troy said. “I have one student who is so into cooking that I could see him choosing that pathway as a career.” 

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