Foods Teacher Claire Hansen cooks through new school year


Claire Hansen

With time ticking, the students rushed to take the cake out of the oven, seeing it fall apart they decided to fill it with frosting to fix it. Clumped the cake together slightly looking lopsided, they have finished the cake.

In her second year teaching at Buena, Claire Hansen teaches foods and foods honors after a 15 year career as a chef. Hansen first started teaching little kids 15 years ago when she joined the food industry.She then taught adults, and finally moved to high school students, or what she calls, “greatest age”.

“[Teaching kids] was great. I loved it because it felt like I was babysitting,” Hansen said. “High school… You guys definitely pretend to know it all, but it’s so great. Just to watch you feel good about what you’re doing.”

Hansen is passionate about food and there is no other subject she would rather find herself teaching. During her time in culinary school, Hansen had some “amazing instructors” and hopes to carry on that excellence in instruction with her students.

Hansen loves the students she teaches at Buena, with their “drama” and “ energy” in her class. She loves the helpful and kind nature of the staff and site administration. She also loves how in the beginning of the year students start off shy, but by the end they are confident.

“I love watching when you see a student get it if you know what I mean, they sit there and then when they get it,” Hansen said. “That’s the best part.” 

Hansen is passionate about food and there is no other subject she would rather find herself teaching.

In foods you are expected to learn how to cook, but first, students start off doing sanitation and safety to know how a kitchen works and to prevent cross contamination. After that they start with baking cookies to show if they know “kitchen math” like weighing and measuring. 

There are also food competitions in the class as well, including one happening in Jan. 2023 at the end of the semester as the class final. 

“Anyone can be successful in Foods. All you need is to do work,” Hansen said. “Students who want to be here, students who don’t make everybody else do the work for them, and those who give and take directions.”

In this class you don’t have to love cooking, but instead have a creative aspect of learning. 

“I like funny personalities, I like wacky stuff,” Hansen said.

A funny thing that happened in her class happened during a cake lab where one group of students made a cake, but it fell apart with the clock ticking, people were yelling at each other and some crying. Later, they figured out how to fix the cake. The cake was lopsided and it was crazy how they fixed it. The students fixed the cake with frosting, yelling “Nailed It,” like the tv show on Netflix. 

“Moments like that, I can’t stop laughing,” Hansen said.