Four students from the Hart School District Culinary Arts Program cooked their way to the top shelf of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (CCAP) Los Angeles Region competition on March 3 at The Art Institute – Hollywood.
Valencia senior Julia Connors and Daniel Qujiano-Siade, as well as West Ranch senior Belinda Polynice, are three of 40 students advancing to the finals to be held at Mission College on April 28, where all will be eligible to win partial to full-tuition scholarships. Students from 21 Los Angeles and Ventura County schools participated in this preliminary round.
In addition, the CCAP named Eliza Joy Nesheim, a junior at Valencia High School, the nation’s No. 1 junior competitor in the nation. Eliza has been awarded a paid internship to work and study this summer at Munroe College in New York City.
“This competition allowed us to see the practical skills we are teaching them come to fruition,” said Mike McClintock, who along with Melinda Wignal and Tracie Priske teach the Culinary Arts program. “It’s a tough field to be in with a lot of pressure, and to see them accomplish something we set out for them to accomplish is great. We are all very proud of them.”
The competitors had 90 minutes to complete three different dishes. The first was a composed salad, followed by a classic French omelette, and four different knife cuts on a potato (batonet, small dice, julienne, brunoise).
Judges were professional chefs from throughout the nation, including Cindy Schwanke, the Culinary Arts instructor at College of the Canyons.