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Santa Maria students learn new skills at spring break culinary academy

Posted at 7:50 PM, Apr 24, 2019

Some local students are spending their spring break mastering culinary skills.

On Wednesday, about 40 fifth and sixth graders participated in a Culinary Academy at Rice Elementary School in Santa Maria.

The group is made up of students from five school-based 4-H Student Nutrition Advisory Council clubs, or SNAC.

This was the fourth annual Culinary Academy.

Culinary Academy
KSBY Photo


Students worked on recipes designed to improve their knife and stovetop skills. The event also focused on food safety habits and baking techniques.

“We really want them to be able to cook on their own, teach their families about healthy cooking, and be able to show their school what they are able to do,” said Community Education Specialist, Melissa LaFreniere.

Club leaders say they chose healthy and low-cost recipes, including French toast, omelets, banana oat muffins, and ceviche.

“Our goal for the cooking academy is for students to learn different cooking skills, learn about different cultures and their foods, and also learn how to make healthy recipes,” said LaFreniere. “This is important to our youth because they have been progressing in their cooking skills throughout the school year and now they get the opportunity to grow those skills and feel confident to cook more at home and for demonstrations at their schools.”

The program is put on as part of a partnership between the 4-H Youth development program, UC CalFresh Healthy Living, and the Santa Maria-Bonita and Lucia Mar school districts.