Food is the new fad

BVH students take up cooking during the pandemic


Madelyn Omelina

Sophomore Tanya Hernandez uses her creative skills as she makes chocolate covered strawberries while walking through the steps over a Zoom call. Hernandez is currently melting white chocolate which she used to decorate the outside of the strawberries.

It’s a fresh morning as sophomore Estela Krivoshia described how she makes healthy breakfast burritos consisting of eggs, spinach, sweet bell peppers and small cherry tomatoes. While creating a tasty afternoon snack, sophomore Tanya Hernandez took a fun twist on traditional chocolate-covered strawberries when she decorated them with blue and white chocolate. 

Sophomore Blake Franklin enhanced his knowledge of Italian culture as he demonstrated how to make a simple pasta. Using current trends from the internet as her inspiration, senior Joana Peralta baked a cake and decorated it with frogs and Korean-style paints. 

Throughout the pandemic, students at Bonita Vista High (BVH) find themselves enhancing their skills in the kitchen and strengthening their inquisitiveness in food. 

“I’ve always wanted [to cook] and now that we’re home all day I have more free time to do it,” Franklin said. 

Due to the circumstances, quarantine impacted the rise in high school students’ curiosity in food. In fact, multiple of Franklin’s peers agreed that having the time and stay-at-home ability allowed them to work in the kitchen which helped foster their initial fascination in cooking or baking. 

For Franklin, Hernandez, Krivoshia, and Peralta, cooking and baking became more than just a hobby or a way to pass the time. To them, it has become a form of expression and a way to connect to who they are as people. 

“I like aesthetics. [When I bake] I just tap into the painter and drawer inside of me and apply those skills into decorating [a] cake,” Peralta said. 

Both Peralta and Hernandez found that baking allows them to showcase their strengthened creativity, whether it be decorating cakes or putting a twist on typically traditional desserts. 

“I think brownies [are my favorite]. I always change [them] up,” Hernandez said. “It’s pretty cool because [they don’t] have to be just brownie squares. I’ve made brownie pops which have been my favorite [thing] that I made with them. If you make them fudgy you can just build them into whatever you want.” 

While Peralta and Hernandez work on their creativity in baking, Franklin and Krivoshia find themselves drawn to cooking, especially pasta. Franklin expressed that making pasta allowed him to embrace and learn more about Italian culture. For Krivoshia, making pasta is a way she broadens the varieties of food her family eats. 

Senior Joana Peralta baked and decorated a cake based on Korean style paints. Peralta started decorating cakes this past year during the pandemic and uses social media for her inspiration. (Provided by Joana Peralta)

“[Pasta is] generally super easy to make. [It] doesn’t take that long and it tastes really good,” Franklin said. “[However, pasta in Italy is] way different from pasta here […In Italy it’s] just really simple and it still tastes really good. ”

Both Franklin and Krivoshia noticed that cooking has helped them eat healthier overall. In addition, they both stated that cooking taught them patience, a skill that transfers over to many parts of life. 

“It’s really easy to get impatient, but cooking requires a lot of patience [because] it’s very easy to mess up [while doing it]. Keeping a consistent [amount of patience] really helps and I think you could apply that to anything you’re doing really, even school,” Krivoshia said. 

Cooking helped Krivoshia strengthen other traits that transfer over to many parts of life, such as independence and confidence. She explained that the independence she gained from cooking influenced her increased amount of confidence and gave her more drive. 

“I don’t have to rely on anyone to provide those things for me [and] I know I’m capable of doing it on my own. I think that’s a very big thing overall,” Krivoshia said.

Sophomore Blake Franklin presents his pasta with homemade sauce after we walked through how he made it during a Zoom call. Franklin started making pasta during the pandemic and now makes pasta about once a week or every two weeks. (Madelyn Omelina)

Not only can students transfer things they learn through working in the kitchen to other parts of their lives, but vice versa; they transfer other parts of their lives to cooking and baking. This is seen in how they get their inspiration from social media, specifically Pinterest or Tik Tok.

“If I’m scrolling through Tik Tok and I see a recipe that looks really good [that] I can’t wait to make, and if I have all the [ingredients], then I’ll make it,” Franklin said. 

No matter how they work in the kitchen, whether it be baking or cooking, these students described how their reflection, problem-solving and trial and error skills have strengthened and come to life. They also acknowledged that the physical act of making food has taught them helpful skills they will use in their future. 

“Every time I bake or cook I am [becoming] more proficient [for] the next time. That can be in a college dorm, [for example, where] it’s only me there or it’s only my dorm mates, then I’ll have to have the skills to make my own food,” Peralta said. 

Even though baking and cooking may help students in the future, today it helps them relieve stress, and in one way or another get through the hard times of online learning and the pandemic. Most of all, working in the kitchen is something they all enjoy. 

“I think [cooking is] something everyone should try. Most of the time you don’t think you’re going to be good at it because it’s a lot of patience, but over time you see progress quickly and that end result when you finally get it right or make something good—it’s a very good feeling,” Krivoshia said.