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Pitman senior turns up the heat in the kitchen

Pitman senior turns up the heat in the kitchen

Pitman High senior Lucero Hernandez practices her cooking skills during culinary arts class.


POSTED March 23, 2010 11:25 p.m.
Lucero Hernandez is getting a head start in picking her future career path by experimenting with elective classes at Pitman High School.
So far, she has taken agriculture classes, volunteered at Emanuel Medical Center and now she is taking a culinary arts class.
“She is taking different classes trying to find her niche,” said Tayna Wright, Pitman culinary arts teacher.
It seems as if the third time is a charm because Hernandez has found her niche in cooking.
“Growing up, we didn’t have that type of food,” she said. “It gave me a new view. It’s more than just food, it’s an entire industry.”
Hernandez first learned about the two-period long culinary arts class when a chef gave a presentation on campus, Hernandez said. She found it interesting and signed up for the class right away to start her senior year off right.
Juniors and seniors can take the Regional Occupational Program class offered in culinary arts, but Hernandez didn’t find out about the class until her senior year.
“I wish I would have found out about (the class) sooner,” Hernandez said.
Once she joined the class she entered into a competition for Future Heroes of America working with the appetizer display, she said. She won first place with her Academy Awards theme. There were over nine different appetizers and lots of cheese.
From her experience so far, Hernandez hopes to open up her own restaurant and work as a head chef. She plans to have her restaurant offer a variety of food instead of just one type of food like Italian food or Mexican food.
When Hernandez isn’t spicing it up in her cooking class, she likes to hang out with her friends and read, she said. She also likes to play sports with her friends — except for volleyball.
Hernandez’ hard-working personality and leadership skills appear to be a perfect fit for her future career in the culinary arts.
“It really does take a special kind of personality to make it in the kitchen and she has what it takes,” Wright said.
After Hernandez graduates from Pitman this year, she plans to attend Modesto Junior College and find a way to cook up her own restaurant.
To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail mmartens@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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