Culinary teams whip up success at state competition
By Isabelle Beezley, Editor-in-Chief
Junior Aaron Sigmon poses with his first place management trophy from the state culinary competition.
On February 26, Carroll’s culinary teams competed at the state culinary competition in Indianapolis, walking away with one first place title as well as a second and third place finish for their work in management and food preparation.
Carroll sent two culinary teams to state (Team A and Team B), each creating their own three-course meal with a unifying theme, as well as one management team, who created their own restaurant idea.
In a culinary competition, teams are given one hour to create a three course meal consisting of an appetizer, an entrée with a vegetable and a starch, and a dessert. At the end of the hour, the prepared food is sent to judges for tasting. Teams are judged not only on the flavor of their food but also for sanitation, safety, and techniques like chicken fabrication (the breaking down a whole chicken) and four different knife cuts.
According to Culinary teacher Renee Sigmon, the competition is associated with two different organizations.
“Culinary competition is actually two competitions in one,” Sigmon said. “It’s Prostart, which is a curriculum written by the National Restaurant Association, and it’s also FCCLA, which is Family Career and Community Leaders of America, so when we go to state competition they cook one time but they’re competing in both of those because we’re members of both.”
Carroll’s Team A earned a second place finish for their Caribbean style meal. Junior Paige Miller, a Culinary 1 student, created the dessert portion of the meal for Team A, which earned a perfect score from the judges.
“I cried,” Miller said. “I was telling everyone else ‘I don’t know if I should cry because we got second or because we didn’t get first,” but I was very proud.”
Team B placed third in the state competition for their Southern inspired meal.
Carroll’s management team was tasked with creating a business concept for a new restaurant. Management teams are given fake demographics of a fictional city and must design a restaurant that would be successful in the area. They must create a business concept, menu, choose pricing for the food items, develop a floor plan, describe the interior design, and tell how they would market the restaurant. The management team won first place in the state competition with a restaurant that would target college students called Cool Beings.
Junior Aaron Sigmon worked on the management team and helped develop the idea for Cool Beings.
“Since we knew that college students were getting into this health kick with places like Chipotle and Panera and stuff like that we decided to do something that had a health kick but was also quick and convenient,” Aaron Sigmon said. “Our entrée choices were a little bit like Chipotle and we had our own smoothie bar and cookie bar. When we got to state we had to come up with a ten minute presentation, we presented to judges, and they asked us questions about our restaurant.”
Because the management team won first place at state, they will be moving onto the national competition in Dallas, Texas on April 29 through May 1.
Renee Sigmon said she is proud of her students’ accomplishments and believes the students earned their achievements through dedication and hardwork.
“When these kids make the culinary team I think that they are thinking they’re competing in a cooking competition, and they are, but my goal is for them to learn a lot more,” Renee Sigmon said. “They learn teamwork, communication, commitment. It is a huge challenge, so even though they’re learning the cooking part of it they’re learning a lot more and that’s the goal of the whole thing.”