Local High Schools Compete in Ai Austin Food Truck Battle
October 5, 2016
Iron Chef. Chopped. Cutthroat Kitchen. On Friday, September 30th, The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston threw our name into the Culinary competition game by organizing the very first High School Food Truck Battle at Round Rock’s Chalk Walk event.
It started innocently enough with a meeting among Austin-based mobile catering company Snappy Snacks, Round Rock Arts, and our school about ideas to build on our presence at Chalk Walk. The Art Institute of Austin has been a proud sponsor and participant for many years at Chalk Walk but in 2016, we wanted to come up with something new and exciting that showcased and supported local Culinary talent. The result of that meeting? Why not do a food truck challenge?
We put the call out to our local high schools and found four high schools willing to put it all on the line – Hutto, Connally, Burnet, and Cedar Ridge. Just like any good competition, there were rules:
- No deep fryers
- Each team is allowed up to 10 students and 1-2 instructors
- Each team must prepare 250 appetizer-sized portions
- Each team will be randomly assigned a protein. Possible options were beef brisket, beef sirloin, pork butt, pork loin, and chicken thighs.
As the event planning went on, Snappy Snacks assisted with securing King’s Hawaiian as a sponsor so a final, delicious, requirement became that all dishes had to be served on King’s Hawaiian that was generously donated to the event.
There were two categories of awards for this competition. First, the People’s Choice award that was determined by votes placed by attendees of the event. Second, the Judges’ Choice awards that selected first, second, and third place. The winning team of the Judges’ Choice award received the travelling trophy, bragging rights, and up to $10,000 of scholarships from The Art Institute of Austin. No team walked away empty-handed though. Each team received awards, prizes, and we designed the event to benefit all participating schools by equally donating all the proceeds from the event back to the participating high schools.
When all was said and done the big winner for the night was Burnet high school who took home both the first place Judges’ Choice award but also the People’s Choice award with their King’s Hawaiian Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatball Slider with Smoky Bacon Barbecue Sauce.
“We had a great time. My kids loved it because it offered authentic, irreplaceable serving experience with the excitement of competition,” said Sean Taylor, Culinary instructor at John B. Connally high school, “We’d love to be involved again and can’t wait for another chance at that trophy.”
Until next year…
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