On The Chopping Block

Baking and Pastry class makes original desserts for their “Chopped” themed final


Tori Thorp

Baking and Pastry class lines their dishes up to be judged for their final class.

Tori Thorp, Co-editor in chief

Six groups of Baking and Pastry students were tasked on Thursday, Jan. 20 to create an original dessert using Strawberries, bacon, and tapioca pudding. In a “Chopped” style competition, the final dishes were laid out on a long table adorned with a black tablecloth. Each group was given a chance to briefly explain what they had made before it was taste-tested by three judges. 

Senior Hailey Wadlington’s group’s swill roll.  (Tori Thorp)

     One group of three, made up of junior Claire Lloyd and seniors Mariah McCoulough and Cadence Crumal, created their own unique version of a strawberry shortcake. 

     “We kind of spitballed it as we went,”  McCoulough said. “We started with a recipe for the dough, and then for the whipped cream we just took heavy whipping cream, threw in some cocoa powder, and just whipped it up.”

Junior Clair Lloyd and seniors Mariah McCoulough and Cadence Crumal’s dish.  (Tori Thorp)


     The three have been in culinary classes prior to Baking and Pastries, which was added to West’s course catalog at the beginning of the school year, so the trio decided to enroll.

     “I really enjoy cooking just in general. I think it’s really fun, it’s a good outlet to be creative,”  Lloyd said. “It’s a really good life skill to have too.” 

     Groups continued to work tirelessly in the time constraint they had to get their dishes on the table. In one of the groups, junior Padget Washko piped frosting made up of tapioca pudding onto a plate, garnishing it with dried strawberries and bits of chopped bacon. An important part of every cooking competition is the presentation, and Washko learned their skills from watching cooking shows and observing the dishes created by their mom. 

     “My mom used to do some fancy plating stuff for holidays, so I kind of just do what she does,”  Washko said. 

     Other groups made creations such as a strawberry swiss roll, with bacon-laced tapioca filling and a bright pink presentation decorated with a white chocolate heart on top. 

Junior Padget Washko’s group’s dish.  (Tori Thorp )

     “For the most part, we have to have a recipe,” explained senior Hailey Wadlington, a member of the group creating the swiss roll. “But with the frosting that we did here, it was all thrown together from previous learning experiences with making frostings.”

     Because Baking and Pastry is a semester-long class, this was the last culinary class that many of the students will be taking this year. 

      “We don’t exactly know what we’re doing,” said Washko, “but we’re having a good time.”