There’s only one way to taste the authentic. But a week-long field trip to Italy, Mexico, Germany and China wasn’t in the school budget, so Cheryl Bauer did the next best thing.
“This is one of the eighth-graders’ favorite classes because we actually go on a trip, a virtual trip, around the world,” said the family and consumer sciences teacher at Banks Trail Middle School.
Students held an international Iron Chef style competition Thursday, where teachers and administrators graded work that began before spring break researching countries. Students found recipes and prepped all week, then flipped the ovens on Thursday for the event.
“They learn about various traditions, staple ingredients, cooking equipment and they actually get to prepare and taste various recipes from each country that we travel to,” Bauer said.
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Felicity Shackleford cooked on team China. Her group made Chinese apple dumplings and stir fry lo mein.
“We all helped out in the kitchen and did everything together,” she said.
Which, according to one of the Italian teams, could be a challenge.
“I really enjoyed decorating the board and getting to, like, everyone putting in their personal touch,” said Lila Zois with the southern Italy squad.
“It was a really great learning experience. I learned how to cope with other people, and it was really interesting.”
Her group made spinach lasagna with stuffed mushrooms. In northern Italy, it was chicken alfredo with apple tira masu, both vanilla and chocolate. Jordan Adamson and his group went for presentation, too, but he learned it all comes down to taste.
“Even if it doesn’t look good, it can still taste really good,” he said.
Judges had a hard time picking favorites among the options. Which left Bauer feeling like the big winner.
“Each step that they went through in the process, they worked very hard,” she said of her students. “I was impressed every step of the way.”