June 30, 2022

Gemma Fielder - Culinary Arts

Gemma Fielder - Culinary Arts

My name is Gemma Fielder and I go to Woodstock Union High School. I am enrolled in Culinary Arts at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center. Our instructor is Chef Tomlinson and he is an awesome teacher. As part of our curriculum, we are in the kitchen the majority of the time, learning and trying new things. We are also lucky enough to have colleges come in and demonstrate various kitchen skills.  We have had White Mountain Community College visit us and demonstrate sugar and how to use it decoratively.

As part of the Culinary Arts program, we have the Get-Away Restaurant.  As part of the program, we prep, cook and serve all the food that goes out. My favorite job in the kitchen is being an expeditor. As an expeditor, I call out the orders and get the trays ready to be sent out of the kitchen. Everybody takes a turn doing each job, therefore you can practice each job. The goal at the end of our two years at Hartford is to be able to run the restaurant without chef's help.

My favorite unit we have worked on was cake decorating. I made my cake look like a turtle. We had to use three different decorating tips during the creation of our individual cakes.  The tip that I used is a star tip, which is a skill set I know I will use one day in my future. One day, I hope to open a cafe or bakery, so this unit helped me fine tune my skills. For me, working in the sweet side of culinary is something I love.

As part of the Culinary Arts program, we have created a new club called the Hospitality Club.  This club helps us to get involved with the community. We get to practice our skills that we have learned in Culinary Arts and are able to raise funds to support class field trips.  Most recently, we have finished the ‘Fill Your Freezer’ sale, which is where we create various yummy foods the community can buy.

My favorite thing about Culinary Arts is one of our biggest rules: Leave it at the door. No matter what, if I am having a bad day, when I walk in the kitchen, Chef and my classmates instantly puts me in a better mood. Everyone encourages everybody else to be better and feel good. Chef says something super cheesy like, "It's okay! You're here now!" But it is so true!