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Culinary art students get taste of professional baking

Dec 19, 2022

Local company asks Kennedy School students to fill large order for holiday gathering

Culinary art students are used to making large batches of cookies and cupcakes for schoolmates at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy School for Exceptional Children.

But when a local company asked to hire them to bake cupcakes for a holiday gathering, they were gobsmacked.

“They want us to do what?” they asked teachers Amy Quinn and Belen Hernandez. “They’re a going to pay us?”

For years, Atlas Putty Products Co. of Tinley Park has partnered with St. Coletta’s of Illinois to provide job opportunities for developmentally disabled individuals in the agency’s Community Day Services programs.

This year, they took their partnership a step further by asking St. Coletta’s school to prepare treats for their annual holiday gathering.

“I love the fact that they reached out to us and asked us to make cupcakes for their employees,” said Quinn. “It was fun to tell the kids about the order.”

“Our students love to bake,” agreed Hernandez as she helped guide students through a chocolate cupcake recipe.

Over a two-day period, students baked 125 chocolate and vanilla cupcakes from scratch and topped them with buttercream and cream cheese frosting – also made from scratch. No boxed mixes used in Kennedy School’s culinary arts program!

The extra effort was worth it.

“They came out really good,” said Quinn, who did a little taste test with students.

Proceeds from the bakery order will go back into Kennedy School’s culinary arts program.

That’s good news for students.

“I love to bake for people,” said one student.

“I like to make them happy,” said another.

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