Pastry Arts students learn the latest industry trends

Pastry Arts students learn the latest industry trends

It may have looked like a well sculpted model of a pickup truck, but Luzerne County Community College student Charlotte Olsen's final project had a tasty secret.

The little blue truck wasn't a model made of plastic, metal and paint. Instead, it was made of cookies, icing and food coloring.

Olsen, along with classmates Madalyne Kelly and Brian Boston, recently completed their final project in Pastry Arts 106, Chocolate and Decorative Baking, under the supervision of Chef Renee Allardyce, LCCC professor. Throughout the spring class, the students learned the ins and outs of the craft, completing a variety of tasty treats that not only appealed to a person's sweet tooth, but to a person's appreciation of art.*

"I'm always keeping up on the latest trends in the industry and I incorporate those into my classes," said Allardyce. "As a result, when our graduates enter the workforce, they do so with the latest skills so they are prepared for any challenge they face while on the job. I am so proud of my students and how hard they have worked."

Allardyce, who has been an adjunct professor at LCCC for 28 years, wanted to offer Pastry Arts 106 so students can learn more about preparing masterpiece desserts. The class is the first of its kind at LCCC.

"Everything I teach is 100 percent edible," said Allardyce. "We work with sugar, 3D sugar cookie figures and chocolate. Sugar cookies are always flat and plain. I thought let's bring them to life by incorporating 3-D cookies, which is the latest trend in the industry. Right now you see this in the real world at finer bakeries and it's used for decorative purposes and special occasions like parties."

Throughout the semester, Allardyce's students completed numerous projects that demonstrated their understanding of the latest techniques.

"It's my goal to get our students interested and excited about these techniques and skills so they can be successful in this industry," Allardyce said. "Their final project really shows they understood what they were taught. I am so proud of my students for their hard work."

When the students unveiled their final projects, it not only showcased a mastery of what they learned during the semester but what was near and dear to their hearts.

As Olsen stood next to the miniature blue truck she created, she beamed with pride. She recalled fondly the blue truck that was used at her job at a local restaurant and wanted to create a miniature version of that because of how much it meant to her.

Olsen, who works in a local bakery, said she plans to open her own bakery after she graduates. She said classes like Allardyce's will better prepare her to be successful in the local workforce.

"I liked taking classes here because I feel more confident about my future in this industry," Olsen said. "I enjoyed creating my final project and being able to put into use what I learned throughout the semester."

Boston, who created a 3-D sculpture representing himself, and Kelly, who created an underwater aquatic scene, said the class gave them the chance to use their creativity.

"The head on my 3-D project is a picture of me," Boston said smiling. "I put a chef's hat on myself to show that's what I will be doing. The bottom of my project has the words 'police' on it to show that I once wanted to be a police officer. My project represents my life story of career choices."

For Kelly, the 3-D project gave her the chance to make a project she made in high school even better because it involved edible components instead of clay.

"When I was in high school, I did a sculpture of an aquatic scene out of clay," she said. "When I learned the final for this class was a 3-D project, I thought why not try to recreate my sculpture but improve on it. I made the octopus larger, I added more coral pieces and other accents."

To learn more about LCCC's Culinary Arts and Pastry program and other programs of study, students can visit the College's academics page at .