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Manteca teens bake pastries for fair dignitaries
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Taking a tray of white apricot scones out of the oven is Terence Harvey. Others from left are Brian Burns, Skyllar Bilbo and Paul Johnson. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Special pastry treats are going to the San Joaquin County Fair Board and guests every morning at 6 o’clock at their booth near the show animal pens.

The semester may be over for the two year Manteca Unified Culinary Arts Venture Academy students, but they were back in their stainless steel kitchen every day this week from noon until 4 p.m. turning out 250 pastries daily that will be served with coffee, hot chocolate and orange juice.

Four students were working in the kitchen Wednesday afternoon near the school district office baking and packing everything from muffins to scones to be transported in the early morning hours today by Chef Bryan Ehrenholm and student Logan Johnson who expect the pastries to be gone again by 9 a.m.

Their efforts produced white chocolate apricot scones, brown sugar almond Danishes, an assortment of Cherry, blueberry and ham and cheese turnovers; chocolate croissants, blueberry and chocolate muffins and pie crust cookies.

The student chefs were under the leadership of Linda Lund. They included Brian Burns, Skyllar Bilbo, Terence Harvey and Paul Johnson.

The academy is now soliciting juniors to apply for entrance into its classes that begin at the beginning of the next semester in August.  The two-year program is open only to juniors and seniors who are provided with an independent study program in a classroom next to the kitchen on the Louise Avenue site.

To apply for admittance into the program students from any high school are urged to visit the culinary academy and fill out an application for the next school year.  Students are assured of being proficient to the point of getting offered jobs in the restaurant business after their graduation.  Some have already voiced plans to attending the New England Culinary Arts Academy after they graduate from the program next May.

The student café at the front of the kitchen will again be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday when school opens in August.  Students not making the required grades in their independent studies are put onto a probationary status.

Students have lauded Chef Ehrenholm for teaching them his profession and knowing how to have a good time and how to connect with his class.