North Texas (CBSDFW.COM) Students from five local high schools hope to make their way to the grand prize in the Cowboy Taste Challenge.
“I learned from this experience that we were able to adapt to any situation… any very stressful changes,” says Hannah Scott, a student at the Frisco Career and Technical Education Center.
Really high pressure. The little ones had 75 minutes, with an hour to run, to use the mysterious ingredients to produce an appetizer, main course, and dessert.
Student cooking teams prepare dishes for sampling by a respected panel of judges who know the true meaning of the competition.
Former Dallas Cowboys Safety George Teague was one of the judges. “This was really important to me because you have to have that teamwork and camaraderie to be able to work at a high level under these circumstances,” he said.
With so much dough awarded on the AT&T court for the winning school’s culinary program, the intensity was palpable. The sportsmanship of the students was more impressive.
“Everyone’s done a great job. Seeing what other people have in store as well, what they’ve been taught or what they’re doing, I think you can see potential in a lot of people,” said Gabriel Dallas Skyline Jr. Delgado.
Emily Williams Knight is CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. She gave one reason behind the association’s collaboration with children. “I think as a student, you’re trying to figure out what you want to do in life and when you’re successful at something, that really gives you the confidence to move forward.”
Most young people have little to eat. Many are preparing for the next chapter of their lives. But for now, they are taking advantage of the opportunity to interact with working professionals, who can serve as a gateway to their future.
“There’s room for all of them. I hope to get an email from someone who says ‘I’d like to train for you,'” says George Wasai, of Legends Hospitality. “This is going to be a dream for me,” he said.
While each school has been awarded a certain level of grant money, Lewisville Technology, Exploration & Career Center – West can embrace this moment. These students came first and received a grand prize of $10,000.
Gina Perry worked as a chef for the event. “Having competed and worked hard as a team, they could get into whatever industry they wanted and get that lesson behind them and know they could achieve anything if they put their minds to it,” she said.
Hannah Scott, a Frisco ISD student, put it simply. “The general message in life is to keep trying to make everything great with everything you have, even with the challenges you face, and also to use your creativity to make something great.”