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Gregory-Portland High School students were part of the culinary team that created more than 400 cupcakes for a recent event in Portland.

An army of Gregory-Portland High School student chefs were recently tasked with baking and decorating nearly 460 cupcakes and more than 400 chocolate dipped strawberries for guests of the state of the district luncheon.

The majority of those confections were made by Emily Odom, Tala Astin and Camrin Wilson, members of the Wildcat culinary team who were hot off a big baking challenge win.

“During the cupcake scrimmage we got grand champion, so we got to come here and make everyone some really good cupcakes,” Odom said.

The competition is known as Cupcake Wars and features area schools that bake cupcakes; teachers then judge them based on set criteria. The last competition was only judged by photos due to COVID-19, but the students are ready to compete in person, hopefully later this year.

“Last year Rockport beat us, so we’re hoping to make a comeback,” Odom added.

The students are part of the 10-person culinary skills team at G-PISD where they learn a lot more than just baking.

“I love baking,” Odom added. “It’s one of the stress relievers in life. 

“Instead of having all that high school stressfulness, it’s more relaxed. It’s just a stress reliever for most of us.”

Astin added, “My passion is to work with kids, and I’ve taken a lot of classes leading up to working with children. 

“But one of the classes has to do with baking and culinary, and I got invited to work with them, and I ended up winning.”

Their creations were placed on every table at the event with many guests leaving nothing behind once they were done.

And out of all the cupcakes the girls baked, one was their favorite.

“Our banana split cupcake,” Odom said, “which is kind of falling apart, but it is so good.”


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