by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC
The KCKCC Culinary Team recently competed in the 2nd HCA High School Team Culinary Challenge, held by Johnson County Community College. (Photo from KCKCC)
Kansas City Kansas Community College culinary students once again showed their culinary prowess in a Team Culinary Competition designed for high school students.
The KCKCC Culinary Team competed in the 2nd HCA High School Team Culinary Challenge, held by Johnson County Community College last month.
Team members included Jenna Crum, senior at Basehor-Linwood High School; Nancy Mascote, senior at Harmon High School; Biggie Stoudamire, junior at Leavenworth High School and William Bowles and Alex Torres, both seniors at Bonner Springs High School.
The group attends KCKCC-TEC and the Pioneer Career Center in Leavenworth through the college’s high school.
Seventeen high schools from around the Kansas City metropolitan area participated in the competition. The KCKCC team received a gold medal and took home awards for Best Entrée and Best Dessert.
“The experience was so much fun,” Mascote said. “We are just a school from Wyandotte County, and we worked to the standard of Broadmoor (Technical Center in the Shawnee Mission School District). The chefs really helped us so much. If it were not for them, we never would have made it this far.”
In the culinary competition, each four-person team was responsible for preparing a three-course meal in 60 minutes. In addition, they had 15 minutes to demonstrate knife skills. Teams were not competing against each other, but against a set of standards established by the American Culinary Federation. Teams started with 100 points and received deductions based on errors made.
“I really felt we had done great. We were well prepared and had great coaches. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience,” Torres said. “I think we were all extremely nervous until we got into the kitchen. When they announced the winners, it was an amazing feeling, a really nice moment.”
Students had the opportunity to try out for the competition team in December and started working with each other in January.
The culinary team created the menu, which included an appetizer of seared scallops and Risotto Milanese; an entrée of seared duck, butternut squash puree, roasted carrots and a cherry gastric and for dessert, a deconstructed candy bar.
Coached by Chef Kelly Jenkins and Chef Justin Mitchell, culinary arts instructors at the Pioneer Career Center and KCKCC-TEC, the team practiced four days a week to perfect their menu and improve their culinary skills.
“I think we really had great communication. We were basically like a family and knew what each person was working on,” said Crum, who was the only returning member of the 2016 team. “We knew Broadmoor was good, and the only team who beat us last year (Olathe North) wasn’t there. We had to raise the bar and show people what we could do.”
Stoudamire said she wanted to be on the competition team after watching shows like Food Network’s “Chopped.”
“I was so excited (when the team received the gold medal). I have never really won anything,” she said. “I love being in the kitchen. The smells make me feel like I am at home. I love taking a recipe and making it my own.”
An entree from a recent KCKCC culinary competition. (Photo from KCKCC)
A dessert from the KCKCC culinary team entered in a recent competition. (Photo from KCKCC)