The ingredients of culinary club

With Food Services District partnership, the club leaves impact on the food community

The oven is preheated. Flour is covering all the members from head to toe. But through it all, they are all still laughing and enjoying baking while listening to songs by Taylor Swift.

Culinary club, a club formed during lockdown in the 2020-2021 school year, decided to partner with the Food Services District, the department that provides free food for students and creates the menu selection for schools in the FUHSD district, during the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. From this partnership, the club strives to provide accommodating lunches to students, such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, co-president, senior Ani Venkatraman said.

Culinary involves more preparation and science than just cooking and eating. (Photo by Helen Tam)

 “We take surveys on how much students enjoy their lunches,” Venkatraman said. “It gives us feedback as to how we can improve the school lunches and make them better, especially now that it’s free.” 

Culinary club hopes to expand their outreach further through having better nutrition board services with their own representatives, co-president, senior Josh Choi said, since the nutrition board is in charge of their district’s brunch and lunch options. Choi said he hopes having a representative from the school gives all the students a chance to have a voice.

“We volunteer at soup kitchens such as Martha’s Kitchen and Second Harvest,” Choi said. “A lot of our members are also very interested in working and getting volunteer experiences [so we make sure to find them opportunities to do so].”

Besides volunteering, the club wants to further expand their impacts by reaching out to organizations and programs, Venkatraman said. Currently, Choi said they are working with  such as Peninsula Food Runners, which is a program that works to prevent food waste by bringing food to shelters.

Club member, sophomore Aayushma Adhikari said she got into cooking over the summer and found the culinary club to be a great opportunity to expand her knowledge. The sophomore said she believes in the importance of giving back to her community and the club gives her the chance to do that.

“I’m interested in learning about the science aspect of cooking and also collaborating with new people and sharing recipes,” Adhikari said.

The club also creates a safe environment for students and staff to share recipes and talk about food, Venkatraman said.

“I think it’s super important to understand the fundamentals of cooking,” Venkatraman said. “We want to teach people so they get to experiment and have fun with it.”