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Cristina Torres, Amy Deluca, and Thulani Ngazimbi Win Heated Cook-off Competitions at The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles

By: The Art Institutes

April 14, 2014

Fourteen aspiring chefs with a craving for culinary excellence put their kitchen skills to the test as they competed for tuition scholarships

Fourteen aspiring chefs with a craving for culinary excellence put their kitchen skills to the test as they competed for tuition scholarships on Saturday, March 15, at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles, a campus of Argosy University. At the end of the day, three stood triumphant.

Cristina Torres from Carson High School, Carson, CA 90745 took a gold medal and first place and Amy DeLuca from Oak Park High School, Oak Park, CA 91377 took a silver medal and second in The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef Competition for high school seniors. Thulani Ngazimbi of Torrance, CA 90501 placed first – and was awarded a gold medal – in The Art Institutes Culinary Scholarship Competition.

During the cook-off competition, the finalists were asked to showcase their talent and skill by preparing and serving a two-course meal in just two hours. The meal consisted of an appetizer of Shrimp Cocktail and an entrée of Sautéed Chicken Breast with Creative Garnish, Rice Pilaf and Broccoli Sauté.

Competitors were judged on five technical skills including knife skills, safety, sanitation, organization, cooking techniques, and clean-up, and five qualities of the finished dishes – temperature, taste, texture, portion size and presentation.

Torres was awarded a $4,000 tuition scholarship, DeLuca a $1,000 tuition scholarship and Ngazimbi a $1,500 tuition scholarship to The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles. In addition, the first place winners in both categories will move on to be considered for a Chopped-style cooking competition in New York in April. The winner of that competition will receive a $40,000 tuition scholarship.

Winner Quotes:

Cristina Torres: “I aspire to one day open up my own little restaurant. I know it takes a lot of work to do but I am determined to do [it].”

Amy DeLuca: “My favorite dish is any pasta dish because the flavors are endless and you can put almost anything in it.”

Thulani Ngazimbi: “I grew up in Zimbabwe. I used to wach my mum cook and it always fascinated me.”

Cook-off competitions were held at all participating International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes locations across the U.S. and Canada in March. In addition to earning their scholarship awards, all local Best Teen Chef first place winners will have the opportunity to win a trip to New York City for a very special food experience.

For more information, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/culinary or contact The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles at 310-752-4700.

The Art Institute of California—Los Angeles

The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles, a campus of Argosy University, is one of The Art Institutes, a system of over 50 schools throughout North America. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options are subject to change. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes system are campuses of South University or Argosy University. The Art Institute of California – Los Angeles, a campus of Argosy University, 2900 31st Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. ©2014 The Art Institutes International LLC.

By: The Art Institutes

April 14, 2014