The Aesthetics of Food (Unreleased Article)

Food is a necessity that everybody needs to survive. Some people just like to eat it, but others decide to dress their food up and take pictures to share on social media. Senior Tejal Kolte takes inspiration from Food Network and creates her own simple project in a kitchen learning while getting Youtube hits. Kolte tells her story on how she discovered why food should look good before tasting good and learning along the way about the aesthetics and the beauty of food preparation.

El Estoque: How do you make food presentable?

TK: I’m not sure if I have a particular style, but I just like making food look nice because you eat with your eyes first. I actually watch a lot of food network and they definitely stress the plating aspect of it. I usually bake so I make a lot of cookies, cupcakes and things like that. I just kind of try out different things each time

I take a lot of pictures of different types of food like a lot of times I’ll bake cookies or cupcakes or like chocolate covered strawberries with sprinkles at home, but when I do go out, if I like the setting and how the food looks, I’ll take pictures of that too.

EE: Can you relate to an experience where you first found out the aesthetics of food?

TK: So one time I made chocolate-covered strawberries. And typically, you just kind of make them. But then I bought these colorful sprinkles. So I like made sure to put them on in a nice way and then I went out and then took pictures with different backgrounds to see like how the sprinkles would stand out against a fence or a tree.

El Estoque: Why do you like to make your food aesthetic?

TK: I definitely like when there’s like a good color coordination theme. So over the summer I recently went to a cupcake shop where the whole theme was like blue and brown and they had a nice sort of shelf with baking things. I think a lot of times when you go to food restaurants they just serve the food and that’s it. But there’s the whole sort of ambience of the restaurant that I really like.

I think cakes and cupcakes are definitely one of them because I actually took like a cake decorating class and there’s a lot of cake decorating competitions because a lot of times people would just do just simple twirl like a swirl on top of the cake or they’ll just spread frosting over the top. But there is a whole art of cake decorating with different types of cupcakes and icings. I watch a lot of cooking shows like Cupcake Wars and. Like challenge where they make cakes. I just like learning the basics on how to make a flower crazy or how to do a specific designer, how to just do something the way you’re supposed to.

El Estoque: What are some tips or helpful advice you would give to people who want to know the aesthetics or making food pretty, what is your concept/opinion on that?

TK: This is kind of going back to the whole food network thing. So I really like baking and eating food and like going to different restaurants and stuff like that. But I think the thing that I like most about making it presentable is just like as I said earlier you eat with your eyes first is how you see it. And then that just makes you that much more excited too when you actually get to eat or you actually show it to someone. And then once you’re good at doing that, you can kind of go into experimenting different colors or different backgrounds or like layouts.

THE WHISPER OF A DREAM: What the American Dream means to parents, students and teachers


by Vijeet Chaugule and Karen Ma

Just like there isn’t a singular opinion on the most qualified presidential candidate or on the many other issues plaguing America today, there has never, and most likely will never be, one solid definition for the American dream. Check out the video below of people of different ages with different cultures and backgrounds, and of what the American dream means to them.

Coding: The story of Oueve

After junior Derek Lee couldn’t wear his contact lenses for six months due to dehydration, he was determined to google his dilemma and come up with the solution. The internet told him that his problem was dehydration. When he ran in cross country, he needed water to help his performance. From this, Lee decided that he needed a way to keep himself hydrated. However, the creation of the app itself, did not justify the problem. Lee later realized that the internet was incorrect — dehydration wasn’t actually the factor keeping him from being able to wear contacts.

But from here, he developed the idea for Oueve.

Coding: The story of Oueve

MVHS Badminton dominates at CIF Finals

A sharp smash from a racket echoed throughout the gym as the shuttlecock transcended over the net. The player from Mission San Jose High School missed the shuttlecock and the crowd roared. Senior Madeline took a step on the court while MVHS varsity coach Evan Blomquist came onto the court and lifted up sophomore Ethan Low. The Matadors won CIF mixed doubles and girls singles and unfortunately lost Girls Doubles.


On May 21, Independence High School hosted the 2016 California Interscholastic Federation Badminton Championships. The Matadors took home wins for both mixed doubles and girls singles. Apart from the wins, there were also some losses by former teams


Both MSJHS and Silver Creek HS were close to beating MVHS. A loud echo of anger filled the court as MSJHS lost by only two points.

Low and Sporkert took advantage of the court against Dougherty Valley HS, finishing the first game 21-3 and going on to claim the victory.


While Low and Sporkert were taking a half hour break off the court, girls doubles pair,  junior Chi Lao and sophomore Karina Wang, had their first game against Armijo HS. Both girls fought hard, but their overconfidence in the quarterfinals got the best of them and Lao and Wang lost to the tough AHS Indians.


“We know that they were good already, and it kind of killed us,” Lao said.We were more concerned of catching back to them and getting the points faster and we were rushing”


When Lao and Wang lost the game, they didn’t leave the gym. Instead, they kept their heads up and said, “There’s always next year.” Both players packed up their gear but stayed till the end to cheer for their other teammates, Low and Sporkert.


Wang and Lao were then placed in the consolation bracket, where they would have to redeem themselves one more time in order to remain in the tournament. The pair played against the Lowell HS, fighting to win and save themselves from elimination. In the first game, the Cardinals exhibited dominant play over the Matadors and the Matadors lost. In the second game, however, the Matadors picked up the pace but it was not enough to make up for their past loss.


Low and Sporkert played on, beating Foothill HS at quarterfinals at a score of 21-12 and 21-19. Both players kept their streak up and played hard, smashing each shuttlecock across the net. The shuttlecock went back and forth consistently until the Falcons gave up due to MVHS’ speed.


In the semi finals, MVHS faced the tough MSJHS Warriors. Both teams tied in the first five minutes of the first game. Low delivered a shot scoring one more point for the Matadors. The game started to became tough as the Warriors caught up as the Matadors were four points behind at 11-07.  After a brief talk with the coach, the Matadors were ready to pick up the pace and scored  three more points at 12-10. At the end of the game, Low and Sporkert won 21-19.


“We were still able to control the game, and we had better skills than them and sometimes they messed up so we were able to attack,” Sporkert said. “I guess a strategy we used was playing more offensive.”


The Warriors were then placed in the consolation bracket and emerged victoriously out of consolation. The shuttlecock was passed and Low smashed, scoring one point for the Matadors at 03-02. During the second round, the Matadors were two points behind as the Warriors caught up with the game. Low scored at 7-4 and Sporkert scored an additional point, leaving the score at 08-05. As the game went on, the Warriors were also quick on their feet and won the second round at 22-21. During the last round, the Matadors picked up the pace and Sporkert scored to make the score 20-10. Low and Sporkert won 21-10. A Warriors player threw his racket down on the court, screaming at the top of his lungs. Blomquist ran across the court and picked up Low.


“I was nervous a little bit but since we played them before we felt a little more confident.                        To win the first one is a big accomplishment,” said Sporkert.


“I’m just happy that I won with Sporkert. I think I played alright and she carried my spirit through the competition.” said Low.


This competition marks the end of the 2016 Badminton Season.



Badminton: Matadors win first match against Gunn HS 0

MVHS badminton team played its first match of the season on March 8, 2016. Competing against Gunn HS, varsity won the match with an overall score of 25 – 5, with 25 points for MVHS and five for GHS.

Badminton: Matadors win first match against Gunn HS


Election 2016: Advice for first-time voters

Although many MVHS students are not eligible to vote yet, government teacher Hilary Barron hands out election ballots to her students as practice. Pages and pages of questions. Although the students votes may not have counted towards the real election, the students left with a valuable lesson.

This was my second verge article I helped with. We decided to do this article because we wanted to get a deeper insight on teachers who voted for the first time, when they were also young seniors. Seniors do need some advice on voting for the first time. No one wants to be nervous while stepping into the voting office and becoming skeptical about voting.

Click the link below to view more about the teacher’s stories, along with advice for seniors voting this year in 2016

Election 2016: Advice for first-time voters


Kennedy Middle School to hold 5k color run for Cupertino families

A few years back, Kennedy Middle School teacher Chris Scharmen raced in a San Jose color run with a couple of friends. He found that the race resembled Holi, a Hindu festival of color in which people throw colored powder at each other. At the end of the race, everyone took packets of color and music blasted. The DJ yelled “Throw them now!” and Scharmen experienced a burst of color.

This was an article I wrote, along with some editors on the El Estoque staff, What made it memorable was reconnecting with my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Scharmen. This article was a basic preview of a color run that would soon take place at Kennedy Middle School.

Click the link below to view the article, and view an amazing idea procured by a 6th grade teacher that would soon lead to a day filled with color and fun.

Kennedy Middle School to hold 5k color run for Cupertino families



Tedx Project winners decide to place trashcans on Cupertino’s streets

April 3, 2015, the MVHS auditorium was filled with anxious sophomores. The pressure is intense as World Literature teacher Jireh Tanabe announces the winners of the TEDx competition, an event World Literature students participated in to make a difference in the Cupertino community. As soon as the crowd died down, Tanabe announced the winners: Saagar Godithi, Manasa Hanady, Alex Park and Julianna Cho. The group received a $1000 check from TedX to support the mission to keep Cupertino clean by placing trash cans on nearby streets. Eight months after a celebratory photo on Facebook and recognition, the sophomore winners are serious in keeping this plan underway. On Dec. 1, the TEDx winners met with the Cupertino board and have already formulated a plan to keep the streets clean in the future. We sat down with the competition winners to see how things are panning out so far.

This was another Q and A interview that I did with Soundcloud, embedded with a video and a created google map

Tedx Project winners decide to place trashcans on Cupertino’s streets