PORT EWEN – It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays in the Culinary Arts kitchen at the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center! Surrounded by twinkling lights, the wafting aroma of baking cookies, and the sounds of festive music, the aspiring chefs constructed a gingerbread village composed of buildings representing a variety of the programs offered at the Career & Technical Center.
The students began their project by visiting and researching all of the programs, designing the layout of the village, and using their culinary math skills to calculate how to increase the size of the gingerbread patterns for their buildings.
Midori Krom and Anthony Smiles, students from the Ellenville Central School District, and Skylah Smith, from the Rondout Valley Central School District, tackled the treats to represent the Fashion Design & Merchandising program. Smiles says they focused on small details that are common in the fashion industry. “We did research on the Fashion Design Program and then we chose to make a mannequin looking into a wardrobe [closet], and an iron,” he explains. Isaiah Snyder, from the Saugerties Central School District, and Ryan Olsen, from the Highland Central School District, made a hospital, complete with a bed and a patient, to represent the Health Occupations Exploration program. Zachary Williams and Sidney Hymes, from the Kingston City School District, built a jail as an emblem of the Criminal Justice program. Representing the automotive careers, Grace Vitiello and Thomas Harvey made an automotive repair shop with a car lift and the program’s motto, “The Way it Auto Be,”emblazoned on the structure’s roof.
As part of their holiday celebration, the students also took part in a cookie swap, which included delectable sweets like chocolate crinkles, bonbons, snowballs, almond fingers, decorated sugar cookies, coffee bean cookies, and more. The classes utilized the recipe conversion factor to adjust recipes to make changes to the number of cookies they produced.The festivities concluded with oohs and aahs from students from other programs visiting the lavish display.