CHICAGO — The culinary became extraordinary in the hands of several student chefs at Clemente High School on Saturday.
Five teams from the city competed in the first-ever CPS competition for the best dish. Among them was Makayla Parlor from North Grand High School.
Much like TV cooking competitions, each team works with the same ingredients to craft an entrée to impress the professional judges watching every move.
“It’s all about how they utilize the ingredients, different cooking techniques, how they use their time and their favor profile,” judge and chef Domonic Tardy said.
Destiny Smith and her Clemente team went with an Asian-inspired dish.
“I’m hoping they look at the taste as far as how all the ingredients tie together and I’m hoping they look at the presentation and how hard we tried because I was sweating,” Smith said.
She wants to one day own a cartoon-themed family restaurant. For now, it’s about the competition.
“We’re all friends so we’re just having fun while competing at the same time,” Smith said.
The winning team gets a cash prize, some cooking supplies and scholarship offers if they want to pursue the culinary arts.
“We have representation from many cultures around the world and I’m excited to see who the winner is today,” CPS instructional support specialist Sherry Franklin said.
In the end, Clemente won the day, with the Asian-inspired theme winning the judges’ approval as these CPS students got a taste of cooking in the real world.