KCKCC Culinary Team Earns Silver Medal at Competition

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2019

KCKCC Culinary Team
KCKCC Culinary Team

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s first all-female culinary arts team brought “girl power” to the High School Team Culinary Challenge earlier this month, receiving a Silver Medal for the second consecutive year.

The KCKCC Culinary Team competed in the 4th annual High School Team Culinary Challenge, hosted by Johnson County Community College Feb. 1. Team members included – Jasmin Reyes, Reyna Espino and Lindsey Quezada, all seniors at Wyandotte High School and Angelina Yang and Sui Theri, seniors at Washington High School. The students attend the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center through the college’s high school program. The team is coached by Chef Justin Mitchell.

“I chose to enroll in the culinary arts program to improve my communication skills because I felt like that was something I was lacking,” Quezada said. “When I found out about the competition team, I thought it would be something fun to do, and it was.”

Chef Justin said at first the team struggled to work together for the first couple weeks. He said he thinks that had to do with missed practices due to the weather. But as they started spending more time together, they learned to trust.

“We implemented a motto that we used every day – ‘what are we going to be? Champions,’” he said. “Then we asked each other, ‘how are we going to get there? Hard work and dedication.’”

Theri said communication was one of the biggest things she learned from being on the culinary competition team.

“I learned that communication and team work are very important for cooking,” she said. “I wanted to enroll in the culinary arts program because I wanted to learn about foods that are different from my own culture.”

In the culinary competition, each four-person team was responsible for preparing a three-course meal in 60 minutes. In addition, they had 15 minutes to demonstrate knife skills. Teams were not competing against each other, but against a set of standards established by the American Culinary Federation. Teams started with 100 points and received deductions based on errors made.

“We were the only all girls team there, so it was a little intimidating at times,” Reyes said. “But I thought that was really cool, that we had all girls. We were the most culturally-diverse team competing that day, which I think was really interesting.”

Students had the opportunity to try out for the competition team in December and started working with each other in January. The team created the menu, which included an appetizer of Sea Bass with parsnip cream, pickled radish, carrot, apple dashi and micro purple cabbage; an entrée of Beef Tenderloin, with mushroom cream, pommes dauphine, root vegetables, fried leek and beef reduction and a dessert of Caramel Apple Tower with tart apple, caramel, walnut, chocolate ganache and almond ice cream.

Yang said the team created the menu with help from Chef Justin as well as doing research online.

“It was amazing because we learned about working with each other and a lot about communication,” she said. “I think what I learned most from this experience is about finishing something we started and that I could complete a plate by myself.”

Espino, who plays both volleyball and soccer for Wyandotte High School, said her competitive spirit came out in full force on competition day. She said she felt calm and tried to keep a positive attitude during the event.

“We wanted to finish strong,” Espino said of the competition. “During this process, I was able to learn a lot about different types of cooking and techniques and also about working as a team. I have no regrets because the experience was so much fun.”

For more information about the KCKCC culinary arts program, visit www.kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7800 or for Leavenworth students, 913-288-7750.

Category: Academics

Keywords: culinary, TEC

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