Last month four students from James Madison High School Culinary Arts Program competed in a 60 minute cookoff against 5 other local high schools held at the Art Institute of California. The task; prepare a 3 course meal that must incorporate a “secret ingredient” which they would not be revealed until the competition began.
The students practiced their menu for about a week, both in class and at home for the competition. On the day of the competition, they were given 60 minutes to prepare their dishes and 10 minutes to plate and present to the panel of judges.
Their 3 course menu consisted of an appetizer; which was a seafood medley of salmon, lump crab and shrimp ravioli, roasted corn bisque and roasted red pepper coulis.
The entrée was an achiote seared swordfish, cilantro lime risotto, refried black bean cream, pickled onions and guacamole.
The dessert course they prepared was a dark chocolate fondant, passion fruit mousse, roasted almond brittle and the secret ingredient Trefoils Girl Scout Cookies.
The local celebrity judges included:
Harris Golden, President of the San Diego Pretzel Company
– Chef Bernard Guillas, The Marine Room | La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club | Executive Chef;
– Chef Deborah Scott, Cohn Restaurant Group | Partner;
– Chef Larry Lewis, San Diego Culinary Institute Program Director | Senior Executive Chef;
– Chef Jim Phillips, SYSCO Business Development | Culinary Specialist;
– Nicole Treadaway, The Art Institute of California – San Diego | Dining Room Operations Manager.
All four students were on point and demonstrated excellent knife skills, time management and communication throughout the competition. Ultimately Garfield High won the competition, however each student gained some experience and went home with a goody bag of kitchen products as well as some fun high school memories.