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Dragons Test, Bake and Create for a Sweet Philly Cookie Swap | Now

Photo of some Drexel volunteers, courtesy of Carrie Madden (holding the chocolate chip and peanut butter sandwiches she baked for the story).

It was a batch made in heaven: Drexel University’s Department of Food and Hospitality Management, Philadelphia Inquirer and dozens of famous Philadelphians from the city’s food, arts, and culture scenes.

The newspaper recently published a story – “Make These 12 Recipes for a Philadelphia Vacation Cookie Swap” Featuring cookie recipes from these local chefs, bakers, and artists, tested and prepared by faculty and students at Drexel Culinary Arts & Food Science. The Dragons College of Nursing and Health Professions volunteered to make everything from kokidati (Italian fig cookies) to gharib (Arabic shortbread cookies) to two different types of sandwich cookies. inquirer Readers to get acquainted with them, and hopefully, they will try to compose themselves. By doing so, students gain educational experience about the process of testing recipes, working with nutritional media and preparing food to be photographed and shared publicly. Very sweet!

These dragons are: Rosemary Trout, DHSc, Program Director and Associate Clinical Professor, Culinary Arts and Food Science; Rich Pepino, Executive Chef and Coach; and Culinary Arts, Science and Hospitality Management students Ann Fraser-Jones, Madison Hoster, Rashi Gala, Lauren Painter, Danielle Sikafi Kattan, Olivia Stewart, Fritika Nara, Rebecca Pilkington, Carrie Madden and Madison Hoster.

To get a better idea of ​​what happened behind the scenes (and in the kitchen), Drexel now I asked these dragons to share what they had baked and learned. Read on to see what they have to say—and maybe try making those Drexel-approved recipes for your own holiday celebrations!

Carrie Madden, Culinary Arts and Sciences 26

s: How did you feel about participating in this project? What are some of the things you did and/or the recipes you tested?

a: Participation in this project was very exciting! She gave me a behind-the-scenes look at the food media and an appreciation for everyone involved in creating the final piece. I’ve made chocolate chips, peanut butter sandwich cookies, and pizza.

s: What did you like about this project?

a: I enjoyed using Chef’s grandmother Pip’s traditional Italian pizza maker with the Italian boot on one side and two dancers on the other! It was so great to see the difference in quality and detail between a fifty year old pizza maker and a modern pizza maker! I also loved testing recipes and decorating cookies to make sure they were ‘photo perfect’.

s: What were your meals? what did you learn?

a: My share of this project is to always take the opportunity given to you. I am so glad I volunteered because I was able to see the ingredients that go into the food article, such as working with chefs, journalists, and photographers. I think it was absolutely amazing how incredibly kind everyone was, and I really appreciate every minute of the experience.

Vritika Narra, Culinary Arts and Sciences ’25 / 26

s: How did you feel about participating in this project? What are some of the things you did and/or the recipes you tested?

a: Volunteering has been so much fun baking cookies for inquirer. I’ve worked with my colleagues, some of the top teachers and some of my favorite professors on campus! She helped make sugar cookies and snickerdoodles. Although we were assigned specific tasks and recipes, it was a joint effort. We helped each other and collaborated to make it easier and faster.
s: What did you like about this project?

a: Since I was a student and still my first term here, I was still getting used to everything. It was great to meet the VIPs through this project; I reached out to them, got useful tips and great advice from them. I’m really glad I volunteered, because I met some very interesting people!

rosemary trout

s: How did you feel about participating in this project? What are some of the things you did and/or the recipes you tested?

a: It was a great experience, working with [Assistant Managing Editor] Jamila Robinson, [Deputy Food Editor] Joey Hernandez and photographer Monica Herndon in inquirerCoordinating a lot of cookies with our student volunteers. It was an impressive group of hardworking, ambitious and qualified students. We also had loads of cookies to eat and share! The students also got to see some pictures of the food, and talk about the project with the authors (listed above).

s: What did you like about this project?

a: Tasting cookies may seem like an obvious favourite! I loved seeing our talented and dedicated students at work. Most of them volunteered for several hours of their day, and joined him directly. They followed through with the project live, and even left the kitchens nice and clean too! It was a great way to start the holiday season and work with inquirer!

s: What were your meals? what did you learn?

a: We focused on the importance of organizing, preparing (as in reading and understanding recipes before baking) and taking notes – some recipes are a must!

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