A surprise cooking challenge

Mercedes Ordonez

     Cedar Park’s culinary arts program is one of many proud organizations at this school. Not only do they hone their cooking skills in class, they also host luncheons for teachers, cater for outside events and even attend events to further their culinary knowledge.

     On October 28, the culinary art class volunteered at the Ben E. Keith food show. The class helped set up tables and booths for vendors, local and corporate, to show off their food products. The vendors ranged from Tyson and their meat products, to those selling green, all natural food and farmer’s market soda. However the sponsors of the food show had a surprise for the students, they set up a competition where Cedar Park’s culinary program split up in to five teams of two and competed against each other.

     “The competition was my favorite part [of the food show],” Mariela Barrera, senior, said. “It was exciting and fun.”

     The five teams had 30 minutes to find ingredients from the different vendors around the show, and then another 30 minutes to cook. Although this was a surprise for everyone in the class, most felt at ease.

     “I thought it was fun,” Kaitlin Bachman, senior, said. “It was good for us as a class to compete in something, and it felt more relaxed because it was against the class and you knew what we were up against.”

     Each team finished their dish within the time limit, and Eric Early and Erika Depperschmidt, seniors, finished first in the competition. Their dish consisted of Israeli cous-cous, seared bison, bacon-wrapped shrimp and ancho chili cream sauce with crab.

     “I didn’t expect to win, and I don’t think we would have if we didn’t ask the judges to try our cous-cous,” Early said. “That was definitely what caused us to win.”

     Though the win was unexpected, Early and Depperschmidt won a 750 dollar travel gift card, a knife set and a skillet-shaped trophy. 

     Cedar Park High School should be proud of the culinary arts department as they continue to cook with the upmost professionalism and skill.