Straight Out of the Oven: Students Enjoy New Bake Shop Class


Randy Colin

Breakfast Pancakes: Rylie Keller and Natalia Fazio show off their pancakes, September 12, 2022.

          With the 2022-2023 school year starting up, a new class has been added to the curriculum: Bake Shop. This class is taught by culinary teacher Ms. Randy Colin, who has been teaching for 16 years, going on her third year at Foran. Before teaching, Randy was the owner and chef of a small catering company as well as a personal chef in Fairfield. After having her son, teaching culinary became a more convenient career option. She was still able to do what she loved and share her passion for cooking with her students.  

          In the culinary classes, Randy noticed that many students particularly enjoyed making baked goods, which is what prompted her and the other culinary teachers to organize a baking class. 

          Randy says, “When I started to teach at Foran, I knew I wanted to get a bake shop class off the ground.”

          Randy and the other culinary teachers wrote a brief summary of what the class would look like and virtually designed the curriculum. Discussing the plan with district supervisors, admin, guidance, and most importantly, her students were the next steps she took.

          After almost two years of advocating for a bake shop, including in-person and virtual meetings, it finally got approved. Overall, there are nine units including quick breads, baking with yeast, dairy desserts, breakfast bakes and casseroles, cookies, cakes and frosting, chocolate, pies, and pastries. As of now, the prerequisites for Bake Shop are both Culinary I and II in order for students to grasp the basic skills necessary for baking. 

          Randy mentions, “Culinary is mostly savory and a huge difference is when you bake, you really have to be exact with the measurements because baking is a science.”

          Although baking is mostly sweets and desserts, the curriculum also includes savory goods. For example, the class recently made cheddar-chive biscuits and will focus on more savory products in the casserole unit.

          Not only does the class improve students’ technique in baking, but it also acts as a therapeutic class they can look forward to. 

          Senior Rylie Keller says, “I wanted to take Bake Shop because I thought it would be a fun class and be a break from my regular academic courses.”

          Many studies show that activities such as baking and mental health have a positive correlation.

          In fact, according to Smithsonian Magazine, “People who frequently take a turn at small, creative projects report feeling more relaxed and happier in their lives…and doing small, everyday things like cooking and baking made the group feel more enthusiastic about their pursuits.”

          Further, Bake Shop allows students who are interested in the food industry to advance in other culinary-related classes.

          Randy comments, “This is a great chance to dip their toes in the water and learn the basics of baking. As we go along, we make things that are a little more elevated.”

          In addition, the class helps to boost students’ self-esteem and allows them to be confident in what they do. 

          Senior Venice Montanaro states, “My favorite part of the class is being able to take the food out of the oven, and see what we’ve created and then later on being able to enjoy it.”