Students Present Fruit and Veggie Carving Creations

October 19, 2022


Photo by Anita Bringas
Above: "Adventures in the Land of Enchantment," created by UNM-Taos Culinary Arts students under the guidance and instruction of faculty member Karla Nardi (second from left). It's carved out of fruit and vegetables and garnished with other edibles. Below: Get a closer look.



Photo by Scott Gerdes


It took six Culinary Arts students three weeks to turn squashes, bell peppers, eggplant, watermelon, jicama, bok choy, and other garden gifts into a colorful, too-good-to-eat diorama titled, "Adventures in the Land of Enchantment.”

The fall final presentation was displayed in Padre Martinez Hall on Oct. 12. And not only did the students visualize and craft every inch of it (minus the whole watermelon created by Culinary Arts Instructor Karla Nardi), but they also chose the theme. 

“Students decide what they want to do and we run with it,” said Nardi, who has a soft spot for fruit and vegetable carving. 

Nardi added that there was some “head-scratching” going on during the project’s creation. Of course there was some head-scratching because to properly depict New Mexico you must have aliens and UFOs, hot air balloons, a burning Zozobra, Taos Pueblo, Smokey Bear, a Zia, a hippie bus, high-desert denizens, and flowers. 

Alejandro Vigil worked on three hot air balloons, the Pueblo ladders and door, Zozobra’s arms and fingers, and some red bell pepper flames rising up on said effigy. 

The snake and Smokey’s hat were the handiwork of Reuben Salazar, who also helped with Zozobra and the hot air balloons. 

The Zia perched at the top of the display and an horno were created by Dom Rodriguez. He also  used his skills to help with making “a whole bunch of other stuff.” 

The two squash UFOs — complete with light beams and the airborne craft lifting up a cow — and Smokey Bear’s eyes were done by Matthew Sugden. 

Denise Viveros was tasked with Zozobra’s face, some flowers, and the decorations on the hippie bus. “This was something different,” she shared. “I never would have thought of even trying to do something like this. I got a lot of nicks on my fingers, but well worth it.” 

Gretchen Brockfeld created the bus, a turtle, the alien, and some of the flowers. 

It’s a shame these fun and amazing student carvings can’t be displayed for long.