High School Chefs Compete In Center City Competition

March 21st, 2018 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on High School Chefs Compete In Center City Competition

Cooking for competition is something that’s really in right now. We live in an age where a whole television channel – Food Network – is dedicated to the exploits of chefs young and old, professional and amateur, cooking in unusual conditions, under time constraints, against big-name superstar chefs, and in all manner of circumstances. I myself am a big fan of Chopped, which gives chefs three baskets of unusual ingredients on a time limit to make an appetizer, entree, and dessert. I love it when the show does special episodes with kids, which led to the spinoff Chopped Junior. There is also the Junior Baking Championship. Seeing kids conquer a grown-up kitchen is tremendously rewarding. To that end, high school chefs in Philadelphia competed recently for the chance to earn a culinary school scholarship.

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High school chefs competed to get scholarships to culinary school at an event in Center City yesterday.

Yesterday, nineteen high schoolers from around the city came together at the Art Institute of Philadelphia to show off their culinary chops. The young cooks had two hours to prepare two gourmet dishes from memory – poulet chasseur (that’s chicken in brown sauce) with tournee potatoes, and crepes with pastry cream and chocolate sauce. Both dishes require a great deal of skill and technique, which would be impressive in a chef of any age, but especially a teenager.

The time restraints aren’t just for competition, either. The urgency to cook and plate the food in time and make it both taste delicious and look good mimics the pressure that chefs face in real restaurant kitchens every day.

According to the local CBS affiliate: “The culinary scholarships are offered through Careers through Culinary Arts, a non-profit where Karen Brosius is president. “It’s not about necessarily matching money with the most well-performing students,” she explained. “It’s about what’s best for the student.” Local chefs judged the final plates for taste and presentation. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 3.”

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