Cedar Ridge High School culinary academy students used their skills to make homemade, cultural desserts as part of the school’s Peace Through Peace Includes Everyone (PIE) event, celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Rob McDonald, Cedar Ridge culinary arts instructor, serves on the Board of Directors for Peace Through PIE and brought the program to Cedar Ridge for the first time this year. The Austin-based grassroots organization began in 2009 in Clarksville, Texas and aimed to bring the community together through culture on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
“We’re trying to bring our community together and build unity through this pie social and potluck,” McDonald said. “I have a strong connection with heritage and connecting food from families and tradition in the classroom. Peace through PIE was another way to bring in heritage and think about the foods that have been passed through our families.”
Cedar Ridge Junior Adrian Falcon prepared empanadas from his aunt’s family recipe. Because of the Peace through PIE event, Adrian said he learned more about his family culture and had the opportunity to share his treat with visitors.
“Peace through PIE helped us get to know different cultures of the world and inform people about our culture,” Adrian said. “Everyone here took off with my empanadas. It was really fun to make them and I hope we can do it again next year.”
Cedar Ridge is one of 16 Peace Through PIE partners, which also includes H-E-B and the Art Institute of Austin. The campus plans to continue partnering with Peace Through PIE in the future.
“Building unity and embracing diversity is essential for our school’s success and Peace Through PIE was the perfect event to showcase that mission,” Cedar Ridge Principal Lynette Thomas said. “We encourage our students to work together to become creative and thoughtful leaders and to value the contributions of their classmates. Working together to make these outstanding desserts to share with our community is only one example of how they are fulfilling this goal.”