the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Baked goods filled with kindness

Senior Nicholas DeGuzman bakes for family and foster care children.
Photo courtesy of Nicholas DeGuzman
Senior Nicholas DeGuzman holds up a pizza he baked.

The clinking of a whisk against a metal bowl and the crackle of frying oil are sounds that often come from senior Nicholas DeGuzman’s kitchen. 

DeGuzman prepares dishes for his family of seven every other day of the week and specializes in Filipino cuisine. A few months ago, he decided to try his hand at baking so he could take part in “For Goodness Cakes,” an organization that gives volunteers an opportunity to make birthday cakes for foster care children. 

“Baking is not my strong suit, so I just wanted to improve in that aspect,” DeGuzman said. “I just thought I’d like to help with [For Goodness Cakes]. It [sounded] like a really good cause, so I thought I should pursue it.” 

As DeGuzman developed his grasp on a wider range of recipes, he started cooking for family functions, preparing food for 20 to 30 people during birthdays and holiday dinners. One of his favorite dishes he recalls making is a Korean dish called galbi-jjim. 

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“Everyone loved it. They were like, ‘Oh, you made this?,’ and that made me really happy that they enjoyed it. I just started liking to cook for other people,” DeGuzman said.  

Cooking is an art form for DeGuzman. From purchasing his own specialized kitchen equipment, including a new pizza oven and stand mixer, to creating new recipes by fusing Filipino and Korean dishes together, DeGuzman appreciates the creativity and freedom that cooking gives him. 

“What’s cool [about cooking] is you can develop those recipes, add your own twist on it, or just find a way to make the recipe easier for yourself,” DeGuzman said. “I tailor [dishes] to my own kitchen. That just means getting to know my equipment–like ovens and mixers–and seeing what’s available to me.” 

DeGuzman picked up cooking when he was eight, accompanying his mother in the kitchen. As he grew older, DeGuzman began to experiment with Korean and Filipino cuisine and became the resident chef of his household. 

“I’d always be in the kitchen with my mom and [cooking] just really developed from there. [My mom and I] used to bake cookies together. I was just her little helper and it was just really nostalgic,” DeGuzman said.

Although DeGuzman intends to pursue a career as a physician, he continues to apply the organization and time management skills he has learned from cooking in all his endeavors. 

“I feel like [cooking is] a really important skill that you need later in life. I just found enjoyment in it —knowing that what you put into it is going to yield good results is really fulfilling.”

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About the Contributor
Kaelin David, Opinion editor
Hi! My name is Kaelin David and I am in the 12th grade, serving as the Opinion editor for The Hoofprint. In my free time, I love playing around with website design and reading literary magazines.
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