Cooking up a club

BVH reintroduces the cooking club to campus


Cielo Muniz Sigala

BVH’s cooking club members heats up a pot of water. They plan to make pasta for there weekly Friday meetings.

Several students at Bonita Vista High (BVH) have gained an interest in the culinary arts. This interest prompted the addition of yet another club to the ongoing list of extracurriculars available at BVH, and that club is focused on cooking.

While this club is considered new, BVH did have a cooking club previous to the pandemic. The club was unable to continue due to the very strict guidelines that came into place after the pandemic. Sophomore and president of the cooking club Alexander Valdez shares how he and his friend had come up with the idea of starting a cooking club at BVH.

“Me and [junior and vice president of the cooking club, Aiden Koenig] started the cooking club, because we were on the topic of food, and it slowly evolved into ‘you like to cook, I like to cook. We should find other people who like to cook and form a club,’” Valdez said. 

At the end of January, Valdez and Koenig held the clubs first meeting in room 408. Neither Valdez or Koenig mention how they were aware of the fact that BVH has had its own cooking club in the past.

Me and [junior and vice president of the cooking club, Aiden Koenig] started the cooking club, because we were on the topic of food, and it slowly evolved into ‘you like to cook, I like to cook. We should find other people who like to cook and form a club

— Sophomore and president of the cooking club Alexander Valdez

AP Environmental Science, Earth Science and Zoology and botany teacher Adrienne Marriott and Koenig both share the sentiment that learning how to cook is beneficial towards others and can be a helpful skill. When it comes to students wanting to learn new things that would assist them in their day-to-day lives, cooking is a skill that falls under that list. 

“The cooking club gives students the opportunity to both learn and improve their ability to cook and develop a life skill where there wasn’t that opportunity before,” Koenig said.

Marriott shares that even though she is the advisor for the cooking club, the students in the club are the ones that “take charge” when it comes to cooking in the cooking club.

“They [the students] are running the whole thing. I just help to find supplies around my room [for them],” Marriott said. “They choose what they want to cook, and they’ve been really good about bringing their own supplies.”

Being the club president for the cooking club comes with many new responsibilities that are easier said than done. Helping others learn how to cook is one of the more difficult responsibilities Valdez has taken on as club president. Valdez has learned that teaching less experienced individuals requires a different approach, and that students learn at different paces.

“I’m in charge of organizing everyone together and getting their ideas about what we should do next because we’re really new. It’s been about a month that we’ve been operating, so I kind of have to get some new materials,” Valdez said. “Everyone knows how open the kitchen is, I just have to organize some of the things especially what we have or need.” 

Club meetings have been taking place in Marriott’s classroom, room 408, every Friday during lunch. As a science teacher, Marriott has many of the materials the club needs in her classroom.

“Because I teach science, I happen to have hot plates and other things we can use. I also have done a bit of cooking with my botany class,” Marriott said. “So I have a little classroom collection of basic cooking supplies.”

Koenig finds that learning how to cook is a universally important talent that everyone should learn. He shares his viewpoint on the importance of learning at least the basics of cooking.

“Cooking is an extremely important skill especially for students in college or right out of high school who end up eating unhealthy and quick microwavable meals. Cooking your own food opens up more variety, allows for healthier food and can [sometimes] make it more cost efficient,” Koenig said.

Being in the cooking club comes with perks such as learning to cook new recipes, learning how to correctly utilize cooking tools and learning new cooking techniques. However, it is also a place where students such as Valdez find enjoyment. The club doubles as an environment where one can meet with friends and just cook, all in the confines of school.

“We have fun and have a blast cooking and eating what we cooked,” Valdez said. “Right now what I enjoy in the club is definitely the people. They’re pretty chill, they’re funny and it’s a nice place to be.”

With the addition of a new club that is also centered around a certain topic, it creates a new place to expand one’s horizons with an area to learn and communicate with other students. The cooking club does have future goals, that Marriott further explains upon being asked about the subject of what future goals she wishes to be able to accomplish for the club.

“One thing we talked about was seeing if teachers who come from different cultural traditions might want to come and kind of be the guest leader and [share different cultures, recipes and] food from around the world. So that gives us the opportunity to try new things,” Marriott said.

Cooking is not only a form of self-expression but also a platform in which people can share their culture. It is common for people to learn to cook from previous generations or the passing down of old familial recipes. This helps many to maintain their culture and the recipes that come with that culture and share with others. 

“I mean, cooking is kind of our human tradition. Even our great ancestors [back in the day would be] around the fire cooking their food. Cooking is a way to share your culture,” Marriott said. “Cooking is also a way to make recipes the way that you like them. It can have that personal touch.”