The World of Science in the art of Culinary


Brandon Russell

Hailey Denuccio (10) prepares her delicious s’more by wrapping it in Tin Foil to make it heat up faster.

Brandon Russell, Photojournalist

Throughout the years, the thought of mixing the art of cooking and the vast world of science was unheard of throughout schools all around the nation. For the art of cooking is intricate in itself; adding science is yet another way in which cooking a meal gets even more complicated. However, when Mrs. Pilkenton was offered the job, there was no way she could turn it down. This culinary chemistry class offers one thing in which no other class can give to students at Yorba Linda High School: the scientific cooking experience. No other school in Placentia Yorba-Linda Unified school district has yet to offer such an amazing yet intricate style of learning chemistry.


Kacie Garrity (10) “chose this class because I thought it would be a new learning experience for me. After being in this amazing class for over half a year now, I have learned to love this environment and enjoy incorporating the world of chemistry into my cooking experience.” With over twenty four food labs completed almost every year, students receive the opportunity to learn different styles of preparing certain types of food using vast amounts of substances and elements. Weekly labs consist of cooking pancakes from scratch. From using elements and bonds, Mrs. Pilkenton teaches students the types of substances they will be using beforehand, and learn while cooking, how these substances react with different elements and ways in which students can aid the environment by using less yet more eco friendly ingredients.


When Mrs. Pilkenton first arrived on the Yorba Linda High School campus, she was instantly “offered the job to teach this one of a kind class.” With not knowing whether or not this style of teaching science could work, She believed “teaching this class would be ideal in incorporating my love for cooking into the vast world of chemistry.” She has continuously been teaching this class for over three years, and “over the course of each school year, we complete at minimum twenty four food labs.” These food labs are not just for fun; however, Mrs. Pilkenton incorporates these labs to aid students in the understanding of how these substances bond together to create these meals. Acts like making s’mores not only allow students to see the chocolate and marshmallows melt; but to learn the way in which these molecules break apart and form the delicious treat that we know and love today. “The students that enter this class not only get to see how chemistry works; but to see how science involves itself into the culinary world. Therefore, students should take this class if you have an interest in cooking and want to learn more about the world of chemistry,” states Mrs. Pilkenton (Staff).


Yet, it is not just the material in which drives students in this esteemed class to work their hardest everyday; Kacie later stated “another reason why this is my favorite class is because of Mrs. Pilkenton. She is an overall great teacher and will do anything to help her students. With her teaching one of the only culinary chem classes in the district, I’m glad to be apart of it.”

Brandon Russell
Mrs. Pilkenton teaches a group of students the art of making the perfect home made s’more using chemistry.
Brandon Russell
Kacie Garrity (10) admires her s’more creation by posing with her first in class s’more.