Seventeen aspiring chefs with a craving for culinary excellence put their kitchen skills to the test as they competed for tuition scholarships on Saturday, March 8, at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston. At the end of the day, three stood triumphant.
Luis Morales from Clark High School, San Antonio, TX 78249 took a gold medal and first place and Karen Gonzalez from O’Connor High School in Helotes, TX 78023 took a silver medal and second in The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef Competition for high school seniors. Vincent Villegas from San Antonio, TX 78216 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.
Morales was awarded a $4,000 tuition scholarship, Gonzalez a $1,000 tuition scholarship and Villegas a $1,500 tuition scholarship to The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of San Antonio. 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.
Luis Morales: “My primary goal in the culinary industry is to open my own restaurant.”
Karen Gonzalez: “I [experiment] with all kinds of recipes, principally cookies and cakes. The originality in the birthday cake decoration process I used made me more aware that I wanted to become a pastry chef.”
Vincent Villegas: “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about food or cooking. I’m always trying new foods and driving to [new] places to experience new culinary ideas.”
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 http://new.artinstitutes.edu/areasofstudy/Culinary-Arts/detail/53 or contact The Art Institute of San Antonio at 210-338-7343.
The Art Institute of San Antonio
The Art Institute of San Antonio, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston, 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 San Antonio, 10000 IH-10 West, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78230. ©2014 The Art Institutes International LLC.