Cooking with Love, Baking with Heart!

The immersive experience on the Denver, Colorado campus allowed students to expand their palates, while exploring their creativity and attention to detail. Ultimately, the students learned lifelong skills that will carry them from school, to work, and home!

Ethan Williamson -

“I had an amazing time in Colorado and on the Johnston & Wales campus. Often times I cook at home but I cook relatively "safe" things that I know I won't mess up when trying something new, but at the program I was able to explore the culinary world and I was also exposed to new styles of cooking, as well as new useful techniques. We cooked dinner on the second day and we had all different kinds of dishes prepared ranging from demi glazed steak all the way to southern fried chicken. Overall I really enjoyed the trip and I loved meeting new people from all over the country. Thank you for so graciously providing me with everything for the trip and also providing me with the experience of a lifetime!!”


Katherine Valdez Huerta -

At POLAHS I am invested in a few clubs such as Science Olympiad, Foreign Language and the Red Cross Club; outside of school I volunteer at Torrance Memorial Hospital and at my church. After I graduate, I want to attend a Pre-Med school to reach my ultimate goal of becoming a pediatrician.

I recently participated in the Culinary program at Johnson and Wales because my parents are both devoted to cooking, and I wanted to learn a skill we could do together. I was able to learn new techniques as well as a new healthy lifestyle. The first day we were taught the proper way to cut vegetables and how to hold a knife. As a team we cut enough vegetables to create the stock we would use the following day. The second day we prepared a meal for everyone. We divided the dishes between groups and had a delicious buffet style meal after 9 hours of cooking!! My favorite part of this trip was to see myself doing things I didn't ever think I would do. For example, I learned how to work a frying pan, how to make honey mustard, and how to operate the grill. I want to thank Dr. Tournay for everything she does for the students at POLAHS. I had so much fun this summer and it wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for her generosity. I know that my family and would never have been able to afford this trip, so all I can do is thank her deeply for this life changing experience.


Jazzlyn Amezcua -


When I heard about the opportunity to participate in this program I immediately grabbed an application. I try baking as often as possible because it distracts my mind from my busy schedule, but I don’t have a lot of baking resources at home so it was cool to have an opportunity to work in a kitchen that had everything I could ever need.

I met a lot of new, interesting people on this trip from all over the country. As soon as we arrived at the JWU Denver campus, we were brought to our rooms and given our chefs coat and aprons so we could start our first lab right away. On the first day we had one three hour lab session where we baked 20 orange flavored chiffon cakes, and whipped up more than enough orange flavored Swiss buttercream.  Later that night we went to a baseball game where the Denver Rockies dominated in a game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks. The next day we had a 3.5 hour lab session in the morning, and a 4 hour session after lunch. During the first lab my chef showed us how to make buttercream and marzipan roses, which we used to decorate our birthday cakes. Then, in the second lab we started by making Challah bread dough, so it could rise while we made all the ingredients for and assembled the tiramisu. For the tiramisu we made a lot of ladyfingers, mousse, and whip cream so that we could serve them for dinner. Then later that night we went to a presentation from two chefs who made us ice cream and weird toppings using liquid nitrogen. Finally, on the last day we all participated in a burger cook-off. We were split into groups of 4 where we designed and cooked burgers to be judged by three people. My group didn’t place in the top three, but it was still really fun to work in a busy kitchen and race to finish on time. All three days were really fun and jam-packed, but my favorite activity would definitely be icing and decorating the cakes. I was really proud of my birthday cake, and I even brought it on the plane ride back home with me! (You could make this last sentence bold or larger to highlight?)

I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel to Denver and participate in this Baking & Pastry Arts program. I definitely would never have done any of this if not for my donor, and I can’t thank her enough for all that she has given me through this trip.” 


Gabriela Murrieta -

“The first day we learned about different ways to cut vegetables including the tournee cut, which reminded all of us of you (as it is pronounced the same)! We put that all in a pot and began cooking our broth for the next day.

The next day we took our broth to create different dishes including fried chicken and potato wedges. We learned about different cooking methods and the temperatures each piece of meat and poultry needs to be cooked at. Eventually, we served our meals for dinner to the rest of the pastries and culinary arts students. The pastries students were assigned to create a desert to give during the dinner too.

I want to thank my sponsor for this great opportunity. I can't thank you enough! It was truly amazing meeting new people with the same passion as me and learning from them as well as our chef.”