VHS alumna, Kayla Hernandez, came back to Ventura High after years of working in the industry as a chef, to teach Culinary Arts classes to students. Hernandez took the class when she was a senior in high school and stated, “the class now is nothing like it was when I was in high school. The classes offered were previously called Culinary 1 and Culinary 2, and we had to change the names of them, but there is still a lot of cooking and different types of culinary activity going on.”
The current classes now taught by Ms. Hernandez are “Foods and Nutrition” offered period 2, “Intro to Food Services & Hospitality,” offered periods 3 and 4, and “Advanced Foods Services and Hospitality.”
Ms. Hernandez explains that, “In my ‘Foods and Nutrition’, and my ‘Intro to Food Services’ classes, there are about 30 kids in each, and they all work in groups of about 4-5 students. We learn all the fundamentals and basics of cooking. This includes knife skills, safety, sanitation, and how to shop, as well as budget for ingredients.”
If you take one of the classes as a junior, or are lucky enough to get in as a sophomore, you can come back and take Chef Hernandez’s advanced class the following year. This class is a two hour block period, and it’s an ROP (Regional Occupational Program) class where you receive both college and high school credits at the same time.
When commenting on the advanced, ROP course she teaches, Hernandez says that, “The students in this class will get to go out into an internship second semester, and a lot of the time they get hired, and have jobs afterwards. This class is more of an industry-style taught culinary class, so they have full chef uniforms and everything provided for them in this level of a class.”
This is Hernandez’s third year teaching at Ventura High School, and aside from teaching classes at VHS, she still works in the culinary industry as well. She is currently still a chef, and still a teacher, which shows she loves what she does, and is extremely passionate about culinary.