The Laramie High School (LHS) Culinary classes are practicing skills and preparing for competitions. 

This year Kallie Ponselow is teaching Baking 1, Baking 2, International Foods, Cooking on Your Own, Pro Start 1, and Pro Start 2. 

The Pro Start classes are working on a Taco Johns scholarship competition that is statewide. The competition is creating a new item menu for Taco Johns. 

They pick 6 students from around the state to make a recipe/dish for the Taco John’s menu.

“The students then go to Cheyenne to the Taco John’s test kitchen and get to make their dish in front of the judges” Poncelow said.

The judges will pick one of the 6 students to have their menu item on the Taco Johns menu in Cheyenne and Laramie for an entire year. If the item does well on the menu it will go to every Taco Johns restaurant in the country.

The winning student will get $500 in scholarship money and will also receive a stipend
off what they make from the item.

The Pro Start classes will be catering 1200 Halloween themed deserts for Halloween events. They will be making 4 different types of deserts and candies. One of the candies will be a shattered glass hard candy dipped in red sugar to represent blood.

The classes will also be catering dinners for about 115 teachers at parent teacher conferences for two nights. The classes will then start working on cake decorating, appetizers, entrées, and deserts.

The Baking classes just finished learning how to bake with leavening agents and made cinnamon rolls along with pretzels. They will be making chocolate chip cookies and pies in the coming weeks.

“I think the kids are doing really good and enjoying it” Ponselow said.

The classes are focusing on food science and how ingredients work together to make different foods.

A lot of ingredients overlap in recipes like chocolate cake and brownies with essentially the same ingredients but very different final products.

The International Foods students get to pick foods of their choice from the given country.

The classes split into small groups and are making dishes from countries in Europe. The classes just finished making Finnish food and will be starting with Italy and making Italian food this week. The class will be learning how to make homemade pasta, cannoli, and Italian salad.

Baking 2 will be working on cake decorating as well as layered cakes. They will start with a 2-3 layered cake with a top and bottom boarder representing a chosen theme. The baking class will then have a themed cake class competition and will finish with a wedding cake.

They will be learning how to make a white chocolate mirror cake after the competition. A
chocolate mirror cake is a moose cake on the outside of a regular cake with heated chocolate, gelatin and food coloring poured over the cake.