The DHWI Chef Cookoff was a city wide challenge to create a unique dish using the secret ingredient, ancient grains. Eight high schools from around the area competed with everything from pineapple cupcakes to chocolate mousse inside of a chocolate bowl the DHWI competition was a success!
As I walked around watching the other competitors get ready for the judges was really intense. I could feel the atmosphere getting more and more tense as time got closer to present. Every detail of the plate was important. When it was our time to present I found myself getting really nervous and could even feel my hands shaking. It was hard to get words out of my mouth as I helped my teammates describe the food we prepared. I watched the judges as they tasted our pan seared salmon and southwest quinoa dish for the first time. Angela Arias, one of my teammates performed really well under the pressure. When our time was up we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
The time was now about 3:30 PM and we had to wait for the remaining competitors to present, 8 other Dallas ISD schools in total. While we waited we had the opportunity to walk around and taste all the other dishes prepared. Each one had a different flavor that couldn’t be compared to the next. It was interesting how they all included the secret ingredient to bring out all of the unique flavors they used.
Although our team didn’t win Chef Castillo’s team brought home 2nd place with their Raspberry Linzer cookie and Chef Denman’s team took 3rd with a stuffed chicken breast and cold quinoa salad. I learned a lot about how to present and combine different flavors together. This opportunity was truly valuable to me as I prepare for graduation.
Article by Karla Tapia
Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management student - Senior, Class of 2016