Press Release: Oxnard High School Culinary Students Prove They Can Help Solve Our Water Crisis


Photo credit: Erick Daniel Gomez



December 13, 2018

Oxnard High School Culinary Students Prove They Can Help Solve Our Water Crisis

High school culinary students to host a school-to-fork luncheon for faculty members featuring an eco-friendly tamale recipe from award-winning local author

OHS Press Release

OXNARD, Calif.— December 13, 2018 Students of the Oxnard High School Career Technical Education Advanced Culinary Arts (CTEACA) have partnered with the author of Eat Less Water, Florencia Ramirez, to host a school-to-fork luncheon for Oxnard High School Union District (OUHSD) employees featuring tamales made by using less water.

“It’s a great hands-on experience for us not only to learn how to make and cook tamales but learn how to conserve water. And it’s always great to give back to those who provide us with an education and safe campus,” said Angel Orozco, student (senior) at Oxnard High School (OHS).

Together seventy teen chefs, the Culinary Arts Pathway teacher, Debra Gallagher, and author Ramirez are partnering to make tamales made from organic ingredients that use less water. The plant-based kale, swiss-chard, and cheese tamales, a recipe featured in Ramirez’s award-winning book are good for the planet and the body. “If it’s good for a river, it is good for our bodies,” said Ramirez, an OHS alumnus, as she explained to the student chefs the connection between our food choices and water systems around the world.

While the focus of the “Business of Tamales” unit is the luncheon, much of the class time prior to the event has been in the computer lab where students learned to design the invitation, write a press release and food blog. “The skills the students gain from the “Business of Tamales” unit can be applied in any job setting,” said Gallagher, the class instructor.

The eco-friendly tamales will be cooked by students in the OHS Garden Cafe, a million dollar, state-of-the-art, commercial kitchen/classroom and will be served to guests in the future home of an edible garden adjacent to the classroom. The luncheon is on Wednesday, December 19, from 11:30-1:00 pm.

“It’s awesome to learn how food can better our environment,” said Romeo Guido, OHS senior. OHS junior Paula Perez, said, “There can be giant change with one small act.”

The Oxnard High School Culinary Arts and Hospitality program follows the CA Dept. of Education Career Technical Education (CTE) Model Curriculum Standards. Students in the program follow the Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation Industry pathway taking a sequence of courses, gaining industry certification, and participate in work-based learning experiences to prepare for college and career.


Ms. Debra Gallagher, CE Instructor

(805) 278-1127,