Celebrity Baker In the Making

Celebrity Baker In the Making

by Linda Baker, VHS 1969

Sawyer Tolson was just a toddler when their mom began showing them the fine art of pancake-making, naturally with lots of chocolate chips! By age seven they were baking all the time, and now this Grade 11 Vic High student can’t get enough of it. They even have their own cupboards at home, one for baking equipment and one for ingredients.

They competed recently in a Skills Canada competition at Camosun’s Interurban campus against two people with restaurant experience, and five international students, and got some great feedback from the judges. As well as getting that early baking start, Sawyer says Vic High’s great  Food Studies courses and fantastic teachers are the reason she took the plunge to compete. “I definitely made some mistakes,” they say, “and it was a little intimidating, but I learned so much, like ‘check your ingredients’  and ‘just keep breathing!’, and I’m glad I competed.”

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Lemon Meringue Tarts, and dinner rolls were the three items Sawyer had to complete, each by a specific deadline. “I’d never done meringue before,” they say, “and you definitely have to schedule your tasks to get things done on time. I watch a lot of baking shows, but luckily this competition wasn’t quite as stressful as those seem to be.”

Their own bakery is definitely in their future, and with some luck and good connections, they’re bound to find a great bakery Work Experience while still at Vic High. Next summer they plan to get involved with Seed the City, a summer program where youth gain work experience in gardening and farming and earn school credits.

Sawyer was very keen to attend Vic High and loves it. They began Grade 9 at the current Topaz Campus, and while they’ve been inside the ‘real’ Vic High when their father coached badminton there, finally getting to go back as a Grade 12 student and graduate from there is very exciting. “I hope I get to sign my name in the attic,” they say, “and I want to check out the new Foods classroom. “

Sawyer’s enthusiasm is contagious. Clearly baking is their passion, one that grew from those wonderful early experiences with their mom. It’s clear to see that passion is being encouraged at Vic High where  acceptance and inclusivity and individualizing each student’s learning are such highly-treasured values. We can’t wait to sample some of Sawyer’s baking!

PS We’re loving the Vic High logo’d Chef Jacket!