Carrots, green onions, and bell peppers do not make your typical flower arrangement. The culinary students at Weston Ranch High School used those ingredients to make edible arrangements.
Weston Ranch’s Culinary Arts elective takes place on the New Vision campus with teacher Savannah Wegner.
Wegner attended the Culinary Arts Skills Institute Conference last year in Southern California at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College with other MUSD Consumer Sciences teachers.
The edible arrangements project was inspired by Chef Martin Gilligan who taught Wegner how to carve carrot flowers and arrange them into a centerpiece using bell pepper as a base and skewers covered with green onions.
Wegner exclaimed, “I love to see the student’s excitement when they make their first carrot flower!”
Students first had to cut the bottom off of the bell pepper and then turn it onto its top, to create a vase. Then they cut their skewers to different lengths and stuck them into the seed pod in the middle of the pepper for stability.
After they slipped a green onion over each skewer, they could go to work creating carved carrots.
“This is the most technically difficult part and took many students more than 20 minutes to create their first successful flower,” Wegner said. “Students were engaged and enthusiastic throughout the process.”
This arrangement could be used to decorate a charcuterie or vegetable table.
Wegner explained that, “The students beautifully demonstrated how to safely handle paring knives and design food to be aesthetically pleasing.”
She also included that vegetable carvings allows the students to develop aesthetic presentation skills and meets several other state standards, such as using and maintaining equipment, and practicing safety and sanitation procedures. It also gives the students an opportunity to experiment with design and be creative.
The following day, students were taught how to make radish and cucumber roses for their composed salads.