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Students mix food service with molecular gastronomy

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  • Ambiguous Breakfast, second place

  • Halo Halo, third place

  • Fruit Spaghetti, first place

Campbell High School teachers Caroline Young and Julie Morihara-Itagaki teamed up for a hands-on lesson in food and science.

Young, a chemistry teacher, had her students teach Morihara-Itagaki’s food service students about molecular gastronomy, the study of physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking. The food service students shared information about food presentation, kitchen safety and sanitation.

Then both classes competed internally in a molecular gastronomy contest, with winners from each class facing off. The contest called for each team to change one aspect of their dish into a gel, foam or sphere, applying concepts of molecular gastronomy.

For that final competition held May 9, guest judges Jon Matsubara, executive chef at Azure; Henry Adaniya of Hanks Haute Dogs; and Johnson Kam, co-founder of L&L Drive-Inn, picked out the top dishes, which were judged on creativity, presentation, taste and science explanation.

The winners:

First Place: Fruit Spaghetti, by Sondra Cunningham and Chadman Arce, colorful fruit juices mixed with agar and placed in a tube to shape them into noodles.

Second: Ambiguous Breakfast, by Lincoln Laforteza and Sheena Respicio, a gelatin egg with foam sauce.

Third: Halo Halo, by Marjaneh Manayan and Margaret Mariano, which featured red mung beans and sweet sugar palm gel under crushed ice and condensed milk.

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