This past weekend I covered the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Culinary Arts Competition in Birmingham. The event was held at Virginia College’s Culinary Institute, known as Culinard. Thirteen high school teams from around the state of Alabama competed for more than 115,000 dollars in scholarships and prizes.
The day was filled with much excitement from participants and even a few spectators. I, for one, was amazed at the precision of each team and how they cooked their meals with such focus. I have never been to any event quite like this one. It was very much like the famous television show on the Food channel, Iron Chef.
Huntsville Center for Technology ended up taking home the “gold” prize, which doesn’t happen every competition. In order to have “gold” status the team must score 90 or more. They did it! They were extremely excited to have their school called out as the winning team. The team was also given a complete knife set made by Mercer Cutlery, a gift card to use at local Birmingham restaurants, and all schools that took part in the event received two culinary books. Just two years ago, there was roughly $25,000 in scholarship money awarded. That figure has more than tripled in the past two years.
All teams were required to prepare breast of chicken with a mustard cream sauce with sautéed broccoli and rice pilaf. For dessert they prepared an apple trifle. HCT took it a step further and actually made their on caramel sauce and drizzled it atop the dessert. No other team did this for their dessert.
Each dish had it’s own appeal to it. No dish was exactly the same, because students with all kinds of artistic abilities prepared them. All of the dishes were lined up, in front of each school’s name, so they could be viewed
This was the first event that I covered by myself, so I had to shoot enough photos and acquire enough information in order to write an article about it. I wrote my very first article, ever, about this event. I am very proud to have had the privilege to do so.
Until next time…