Culinary arts students prepare for an upcoming competition


A familiar view for culinary students as they prepare for their competition.

Students in the culinary program at South Hills have been preparing for a Spring competition that will take place in March.

“This year it’s gonna be in Pasadena. We’ll be the prelim competition and then the main competition for finalists is at Mission College in Sylmar,” Chef Anna Redd said.

Students from schools across the state will participate and those who make it past the preliminaries will move on as finalists to the final competition.

“It requires a lot of patience, you have to be very nimble as well,” Dylan Cao (12) said.

For the preliminary competition, students make two French dishes. As they follow the recipe, they must execute it within the time limit and be efficient.

“The first one is a cucumber salad and French omelet. It sounds simple! The salad is a very precise, very attention to detail type of thing. So, it takes a long time,” Liah Escobedo (12) said.

The winners are decided on how alike the student’s dish is to the sample dish; as well as the creativity they put into it. Students who pass the preliminaries and make it to the final competition have the chance of winning scholarships.

“Scholarships are cash prizes anywhere from $2,500 up to a full ride tuition and I think the most expensive one is Johnson & Wales. It’s about $120,000 for four years,” Redd said. 

Although competitors cook individually, they can help teammates from their school. The competition, itself, can be described as “exciting,”  “eye-opening,” & “hard work.” 

“It really opens you up to new opportunities. I think it’s really interesting that every single time I’m not just there to learn and compete, I’m also learning how to communicate with older members as well as other people in different industries,” Escobedo said.