FFHS’ Culinary Team takes third place in NC Junior Chef Competition – OBX Today

FFHS' Culinary Team takes third place in NC Junior Chef Competition - OBX Today
(Courtesy Dare County Schools)

Originally published by Dare County Schools’ Hannah Nash:

First Flight High School (FFHS) was awarded third place in the North Carolina Junior Chef Competition during a virtual awards ceremony held March 13. First Flight High School made it to the final round of the competition, competing against culinary teams from Garinger High School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) and Northern High (Durham Public Schools).

First Flight High School's Jr. Chef competition recipe; plated chicken cordon bleu

FFHS’ team, featuring 11th grade students, Tim Eline, Cooper Hill, Amerie Mickens, and Abby Morales, submitted their chicken cordon bleu with orzo rice and mushroom demi-glace recipe into the state competition in January. The team worked with the school’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Instructor Claire Stansky and Dare County Schools School Nutrition Director Kelleta Govan to create their version of an elevated comfort food often found on restaurant menus. The recipe featured North Carolina-grown broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and Carolina Gold rice.

Dare County Schools Superintendent Steve Basnight offered his congratulations to FFHS’ culinary team stating, “We were so excited to be able to attend and celebrate our First Flight High School Junior Chefs at the watch party on Wednesday. Our team brainstormed, developed, tested, revised, and submitted an incredible recipe, then created presentations, videos, and participated in interviews to discuss their creation. Everyone is beyond proud of our students, Ms. Stansky, Ms. Govan, Mr. Wallin, and CTE Director Dr. Shannon Castillo for their efforts and encouragement!”

The NC Junior Chef Competition challenges high school students from across the state to work with their teachers and School Nutrition administrators to develop creative recipes for school lunch entrées that are compliant with School Nutrition program standards, include at least two North Carolina-grown products and one USDA Foods item, are replicable by School Nutrition programs and are appealing to students.

All finalist teams submitted an application that included their recipe, a photo of the completed dish, nutrient and cost analyses, a work plan for preparing the entrée within 90 minutes and a video of their team preparing and plating their creation. The junior chefs also participated in a virtual interview to present their entrée to a panel of judges. Teams were evaluated on their recipe development, use of locally grown ingredients, culinary and food safety skills, organization, teamwork, knowledge of nutrition and farm-to-school practices and public presentation.

Students from all three finalist teams received their own NC Junior Chef coats and hats. FFHS’ team also received certificates, a medal, and a $3,000 scholarship for each team member from Sullivan University in Kentucky.

Northern High School (Durham Public Schools) won first place for their taquitos recipe and Garinger High School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) took second place with their “Le Ramsay” dish.