PHS students spice it up

PELHAM – Pelham High School culinary students have created a brand of spices that are now available to the public.

Culinary instructor Chef Doug Allen said Big Rod’s Blends began as a challenge to his Culinary Arts 1 students to create their own private label brand. Allen contacted Captain Foods, a company that makes special seasoning blends, and requested a few samples of different spices.

“The class voted on which ones they liked,” Allen said. “We narrowed it down from 12 to five.”

Allen said there are 55 students in the Culinary Arts I program and 140 altogether in the school’s Culinary Academy.

To help narrow down which spices they wanted to use, Allen said students conducted taste tests. They cooked hamburger sliders, chicken breasts and seafood using the spices.

“I really wanted them to taste the spices in different types of foods,” Allen said.

After picking the spices they wanted to use, Allen said the students picked a name for their brand, created a design for packaging and decided on prices. The packaging for the spices bears the name and face of a student who the students felt embodied the brand.

Twelfth grade student Kaylea Tucker said it’s nice that students get to present a product to the public that they actually created.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done anything like this,” said Tucker, who has been in the Culinary Academy for three years. “It’s just really nice to have.”

The names of the spices are BBQ Jamboree Dust, Candied Fever, Garlic-Citrus Bombshell, All ‘Round Extravaganza and Pelham Peachy Hot Sauce.

BBQ Jamboree Dust can be used when barbecuing or to add a barbecue flavor to any foods, All ‘Round Extravaganza includes seven different spices with just a touch of heat, Garlic-Citrus Bombshell incorporates garlic, citrus and herbs for almost any use, Candied Fever invites a sweet and spicy flavor and Pelham Peachy Hot Sauce uses peaches and sweet onions to help balance the hot sauce.

Allen said the spices are made with all natural ingredients and do not contain gluten or additives, which makes for a nice clean taste.

The students are now selling the spices to help raise money for the schools Culinary Academy. The spices are $6 per bottle or three for $15.

Allen said there isn’t a cut-off date for the fundraiser. The spices will remain on sale throughout the spring.

To purchase Big Rod’s Blends, contact Allen at dallen@pelhamcityschools.org.