CHS students and teachers show greater interest in cooking at home



She bought the brownie mix. She measured the rest of the ingredients. She made the batter and placed the pan into the oven. All that was left for her to do was watch the cooking magic of the transformation of the batter into deliciously scrumptious brownies.

With the baking process underway, she, Amanda Ventura,  baking student  and sophomore grew increasingly excited with each passing minute. This was her first time making brownies.

“I … was really excited ‘cause I just still couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact how the liquid turned into a solid ‘cause batter’s basically liquid; I just found it really weird, and I was just really excited. I remember leaving that light oven on and just staring at (the batter) until (it) actually turned into brownies because I just thought it was a really cool process,” Ventura said.

For Ventura, her experience making these brownies helped spark her interest in cooking.

According to the recently released report, “Encouraging More Visits from Millennials,” from the NPD Group, millennials such as Ventura have begun to demonstrate a greater interest in cooking at home rather than eating at restaurants.

Sonya Brown, family and consumer science teacher who teaches several cooking classes, said she has seen more students interested in the cooking classes offered at CHS now than compared to the past few years.

“Our enrollment in our foods classes has increased over the years,” Brown said via email. “I feel that students want to learn more about food and how to prepare as well as have a class that they can eat in. There are many students that say they cook at home and want to increase their personal skills and knowledge for when they are older and living on their own.”

Brown said she believes that the main reason more students have been enrolling in CHS cooking classes is that they recognize the value of cooking.

“They know that everyone has to eat and (that) learning how to prepare your own food is important,” Brown said.

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According to Brown, although she believes millennials are still inclined to eat at restaurants, she also thinks that the overall trend of millennials’ growing interest in cooking stems mainly from economic reasons, the increased popularity of TV shows regarding food and the understanding of the importance of cooking.

Ventura, who said she wants to become a chef, shares similar views to Brown’s regarding the value of cooking and the economical nature of cooking as reasons for the growing interest in cooking. Ventura said she decided to take the baking course because she believes cooking is not only important but also economic.

With regards to the economics of cooking at home versus that of eating at restaurants, Ventura said, “(My friends and I) go out to eat sometimes, and we always complain on how much the food costs, and then, usually, we figure out we can actually do it at home for a lot cheaper.”

Junior Alex Isler who cooks dinner on the weekdays for her family members also said that the expensive nature of eating at restaurant in comparison to the inexpensive nature of cooking and eating at home plays a factor in the reason she cooks.

Isler added that another reason she would rather eat and cook at home than eat at a restaurant is that she enjoys cooking.

“Eating at a restaurant does have certain advantages, like if you’re tired, then it is more relaxing, and you don’t have to do your own dishes, and you don’t have to make the food, but I really find that I definitely like eating at home better because … a lot of the time, what I order, I either can’t finish or I don’t really like,” Isler said. “And if I make my own food, I usually know that I’m going to like it because I’ve made it before, and I enjoyed the meal, and then, because you put your own work behind it, you want to finish it, and it, I don’t know, it’s kind of like a pride behind it, like ‘I’ve made this dish,’ so I kind of have to say that I enjoy eating at home and like making my own food better, but I don’t like doing the dishes afterward.”

Ventura said she also is more interested in cooking at home than eating at a restaurant.

“If you make food at home, I find it fun ‘cause I get to go, and I find all of these different recipes, and I try to find one that works, and it’s just fun experimenting with them and experimenting with the food. Then you get to taste it, and it’s so good, and it just feels better because you made it, not someone else,” Ventura said. “You feel like you achieved something because you made this dish.”