FVTC hosts cooking competition for high school chefs

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 4:10 PM CST
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GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WBAY) - Some of the best high school chefs are battling it out in the kitchen. Fox Valley Technical College hosting a cooking competition to see who makes the best burger and best cake.

Sixteen chefs from six area high schools took to the kitchens at Fox Valley Tech for a cook off.

According to culinary instructor, Richard Williams, “You really see some fun techniques that they’re trying. It’s fun to watch and then you get the finished product, you get to taste it. It’s fun to watch and it’s a good experience for them.”

Eight of the competitors were creating the perfect burger, including Bennett Verboomen from Kimberly High School. He says, “My burger had an English muffin, avocado, some potatoes, and then the burger with some American cheese and then I had bacon with a garlic aioli.”

The other half of the competitors, like Tazia Reese from Preble High School, were focused on dessert, an eight inch layered cake. She says, “I made a chocolate cake with apple pie filling, spiced buttercream frosting and miso caramel.”

The competition, judged by culinary instructors at the college, was a chance for these budding bakers and up and coming chefs to show their stuff. Putting the skills they have learned in class, on display in a competition. And while it was a bit intimidating, the opportunity was encouraging.

“It was less scary than I thought it would be. They said my skill level was really impressive, for what grade I’m in, and they just said that everything was really good,” adds Reese.

Everything from knife skills and cooking techniques to organization at their station was judged. As the students learned, the recipe for success in the kitchen is complicated.

Culinary Instructor, Jeff Igel, says, “In order to win, you have to pull everything together at the same time. It’s sanitation, presentation, it’s technique, artistry, everything all the above come together. So, the winner is going to be the one who does the best in pulling all the categories together, not just a couple of them.”

And the students didn’t disappoint, all creating amazing food that not only won the top three dishes scholarship prizes, but the hearts of the judges.

The winners for cakes were:

1st Place: Jack Oman-Oshkosh West High School.

2nd Place: Tazia Resse: Preble High School.

3rd Place: Megan Aschenbrenner: Neenah.

The winners for Burgers were:

1st Place: Mason Buhk-Plymouth High School.

2nd Place: Braden Neu-Plymouth High School.

3rd Place: Dominik Rivera-Forbush-Wildrose High School.

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