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The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

Food Truck Course Brings Flavor

Farm2Fork%2C+the+new+class-on-wheels+for+PHS+culinary+students.+I+just+want+to+put+Puyallup+High+Schools+food+truck+program+on+the+map.
Credit: Sandra Coyer
Farm2Fork, the new class-on-wheels for PHS culinary students. “I just want to put Puyallup High School’s food truck program on the map.

Years ago, when she was the District Career and Technical Education Director, Maija Delaquin had the idea for a new course. 

The goal of the new course would be to tie together the agriculture or farming with some of the STEM programs in addition to the culinary programs, Delaquin said.  

“So that’s what the Farm to Fork truck was about… We hired a TOSA (Teacher On Special Assignment) to go and work with teachers in those areas and bring it to them, like we did with MILLIE for our mobile STEM lab. Similar idea. And then as that grew, our next step on that was to create an introductory food truck course at Puyallup High School, a semester long intro class in case someone might be interested,” Delaquin said. 

Now, the course appears in the Course of Study as Food Truck Basics with teacher Javier Silva, a former chef at restaurants including the Hungry Goose Bistro. The class combines elements of culinary and business classes to create a new experience for students that hasn’t been seen before in this district. 

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“[Delaquin] heard that I used to be a chef, and we connected through another employee in the district, John Morrison, and the rest is history. You know, now we’re creating a food truck program and I’ve had kind of free range of everything of how I want to be so it’s going to be a really cool, fun program,” Silva said. 

While the program is new, Silva has had experience teaching beforehand. He’s taught Resource classes at Emerald Ridge and Ferrucci and once taught a cooking class for kids at the King County Youth Detention Center.  

“The process [of approval], that was new to me too, I’ve never done that before. We had to come up with a one pager and then present it and then get the approval to present it again. And then after that, then we got to present a couple more people, get the funding, get course codes, get me certified in different areas, such as entrepreneurship, because on the food truck we’re going to teach you how to open your own food truck, so they needed to make sure I was 100% qualified,” Silva said. “And then we created a framework, submitted that to the state, and the state said ‘Hey, this looks great. Our kids will learn great from it. You’re good to go.’” 

The course promises to teach students the basics of food preparation and running their own food truck, and Silva promises a unique final allowing students to use their knowledge in a practical manner. 

“We’re building you up to the final so you’re going to learn your safety and sanitation, get your food handler’s card, basic knife skills, proper purchasing, and then leading you to the final which is you and your group are going to represent the food truck for a luncheon and create your own menu promote it to the school and have a couple of the teachers who have that planning period come try your food and just have fun,” Silva said. 

The course has elements of DECA and Culinary classes, and Silva wants to have students overlap between the programs. 

“I think they go kind of hand in hand… I think it’s going to be a lot of intertwining and working together and trying to master both departments to the best ability. I just want to put Puyallup High School’s food truck program on the map… And I think with my dedication and drive to education and seeing students succeed… I think it’s going be a really good class and we’re going make it great,” Silva said. 

While the practical reason for starting the food truck program here is that Puyallup High School is the only school in the district with a culinary program, Silva believes that the school is special in other ways. 

“It’s a great school with a rich history and I love the downtown feel. So many people in the downtown area have reached out like ‘Hey, how can we help you get this up and running?’ You know, business owners, restaurant owners. With the support of the district, Dr. Delaquin, Dr. Harris, Mr. Sieg, the school staff here, I think, it’s gonna be a great thing and I’m glad that Puyallup High School gets to be the pilot school for it,” Silva said. 

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About the Contributor
Ethan Barker
Ethan Barker, ACE Editor
Ethan Barker is the ACE (Arts, Culture and Entertainment) Editor for the Viking Vanguard student newspaper at Puyallup High School. This year, which will be his second with the Vanguard and his junior year of high school, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills and work with the editorial team to investigate issues facing students. He consistently turns out reviews of blockbuster movies and shows, along with feature stories that focus on unique people and places. In addition to these, he enjoys playing guitar, swimming for PHS and his club team and reading the closest book he can get his hands on.

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