Friday, April 04, 2008

Second Platinum Chef Competition

Last year a group of eight Monroe County high schools formed a conference for culinary competition. This year, the group grew to 10 schools. Some of the schools don't even have a culinary program, but only an after school club, where they cook with and learn from an advisor.

I was asked to be one of the judges again this year
It is so much fun to observe these kids. Teams consist of 5 members and two dish washers. They are judged on several levels, including sanitary and safety, knife skills, creative use of ingredients, presentation, teamwork, and taste. Outstanding individuals are recognised as well.

Ten schools was a bit daunting to get through. In the end the judges (there were five of us) were all pressed for time in analysizing all the different categories. I also had less time to take photos.
The competition took place on the gym floor, where 10 individual staging kitchens were set up. So the equipment wasn't the best, but the kids really made the best of what they had. The bleachers were full of students and family members observing and taking pictures.
One of the smaller schools without the formal culinary program won. Their passion for what they were doing showed and won them the trophy.

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