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The Student News Site of East Haven High School

The Comet

The Student News Site of East Haven High School

The Comet

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From Canvas to Cuisine: Exploring Artistry and Flavor With the Art and Culinary Program

From+Canvas+to+Cuisine%3A+Exploring+Artistry+and+Flavor+With+the+Art+and+Culinary+Program

As a way to inspire interdisciplinary collaboration at EHHS, Mrs. Heather Profetto and Mr. Matthew Stevens teamed up on an incredible lesson with lesson targets involving skills they’ve learned throughout the course. The main lesson from this project was for the design students to learn how to work with a client (the culinary department) to design a product label. The culinary students, led by Mrs. Profetto, learned cooking and recipe development skills by creating the hot sauces and salsas. The design students took information from the culinary students to design labels for the products based on the clients’ needs and wishes, and the culinary students learned and practiced their knife skills.

The salsa lesson took place over about 3 weeks in February and March. The culinary students first tasted different salsas and picked which one to recreate or to create a recipe of their own. They then met with Mr. Stevens’ class and provided information for the students to design labels, including a logo, name, theme, and colors. Mr. Stevens’ class then created label samples for feedback. While they worked on labels, the culinary students practiced making salsas and discussed serving and pairing ideas. They then reconvened for the culinary students to provide feedback on the label samples. The final labels were created and attached to the jars of the finished salsas.

The culinary students thought the lesson was very exciting, and Mrs. Profetto agreed. The culinary students were very engaged and excited about the project, showing it was an effective way to teach them. Having the students taste different salsas at the start was an interactive and fun activity they all enjoyed.

Clearly they’re excited about it if they’re talking about something outside my classroom, which, [I mean], that’s like every teacher’s [goal].

— Mrs. Profetto

The final salsa products turned out well, and the students were proud to take them home. They found that teaming up with another class introduced more interdisciplinary collaboration and gave the students the ability to understand the importance of collaboration. One student shared an authentic family recipe from Ecuador that expanded everyone’s knowledge and also allowed students to gain different perspectives on culture. Mr. Stevens also found that students really enjoyed the project and how well it went working alongside Mrs. Profetto. It allowed for cross-curricular collaboration between different classes and departments. Students also learned both graphic design and label-making skills. It also gave students experience with the real-world design process of working with a client to meet their needs. The lesson incorporated both practical skills and soft skills like communication and collaboration.

Some issues that arrived caused some minor hiccups, such as absenteeism, scheduling issues, and lack of motivation; however, in the end, an amazing product resulted and allowed students to gain some major insight into the real-world experiences of graphic design and culinary.

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Accounting would figure out how to sell it. Ceramics would create platters to display the hot sauce and chicken wings during the competition or whatever it turns out to be.

— Mr. Stevens

Mrs. Profetto and Mr. Stevens both agreed that they plan to do this project again next year with some minor edits. She mentioned wanting to continue the collaboration with Mr. Stevens or other teachers on future projects as well. Both teachers found the experience positive overall and something worth building on further. In the upcoming years, they plan to incorporate more classes like marketing, accounting, woodworking, and ceramics into the project scope to add even more fun collaboration activities. They also plan a hot sauce challenge or competition event where samples could be tasted and filmed, involving the media class, similar to “Hot Ones.” Lastly, they want to schedule more planning time between the art and culinary teachers in advance for next year.

Find some examples of their salsas and label designs below!

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Willow Torres
Willow Torres, Reporter
Junior Reporter, She/Her
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