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Culinary Students Honor A Tradition
RHS Culinary
The team of nine along with Instructor Emily Cowdrey worked an event that honored mentor pastry chef David Bradford. Photo Contributed

Members of the Riverbank High School Culinary Class worked the Grace Lieberman Tribute Valentine Concert and David Bradford Memorial Tea this past Sunday. They honored pastry chef Bradford, who passed away early last year. He was a dear friend and mentor to RHS culinary class instructor Emily Cowdrey and her students. The tradition that Bradford started years ago has continued.

“David was my chef mentor,” stated Cowdrey. “He was a retired baker in town. He had owned the Word of Mouth Bakery in Modesto. He was always my go to when I had questions on cooking and teaching about food. He had such great knowledge when it came to food and it really helped shape my cooking and my teaching.”

The event was held in Modesto and the RHS students were in charge of making the food which included scones, tea sandwiches with cream cheese, dill, cucumber and tuna, mini red pepper quiches, and gluten free options. Cowdrey explained that the job is quite large and although they have done it in the past this year it was without their mentor but they wanted to continue the tradition. They served approximately 90 guests the tea menu and desserts.

There were nine students that assisted Cowdrey at the event on Sunday and there were some items that the students prepared prior to the event in class.

Along with making the dough and mini quiches the students set tables, plated the sandwiches, and assisted with clean up.

Bradford assisted with the Thanksgiving luncheon that is hosted annually in the culinary class for RUSD staff. They worked together for about three years and Sunday’s event marks three years the class has been helping out.

Cowdrey noted, “He really helped make it (luncheon) a great event.”

The culinary class has many more events planned for 2020 and Cowdrey said she is looking forward to working with her students.

“The students did great. I am always impressed on their willingness to help and their great attitude,” said Cowdrey. “Being there and honoring David’s wife Marsha was really great and special to be a part of. It’s really nice to have this tradition live on through my students. Bruin Pride.”