Chemistry of Cooking Cook-off

As students were wrapping up the semester with tests and papers, a different culminating activity was taking place in Parker’s Science Wing. Under the guidance of Upper School Science teacher Gigi Mathews, students in Chemistry of Cooking put their newfound cooking experience to the test and participated in the Chemistry of Cooking Cook-off!

This course, open to juniors and seniors, has a specific focus: “How nutrients are altered by cooking processes is critical in understanding nutrition. This course examines the connection between the macromolecules we eat and how they are changed chemically by cooking.”  To make sure her students retained this information in a practical way, Mathews issued them the cook-off challenge. In groups, these students had to cook a final dish that would be rigorously examined by a crack team of culinary experts: Quest Food Executive Chef Zac Maness, Math teachers Steven Tyler and Vicki Lee, Physical Education teacher Terry Davis and Mathews herself.

With ample time to prepare, the students heartily rose to the challenge, and the classroom was filled with the delicious aroma of the students’ hard work that day. Mathews shared, “I really enjoyed teaching this class—the enthusiasm of the students really helped. They were so eager to work in our makeshift kitchen, and if they had their choice, they’d be in the kitchen every day. In the future, I’d like to make the final cook-off a bit more challenging by having them integrate a ‘secret ingredient’ that they need to use, kind of like Iron Chef style!”

The lucky judges can attest to the students hard, delicious work. Parker looks forward to seeing how this class evolves next year!

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Francis W. Parker School educates students to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a diverse democratic society and global community.