Aspiring chefs put their skills to the test
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — Grayson College invited 22 aspiring Texoma high school chefs to show of their cooking skills in two categories — savory and pastry — during a Friday competition.
"I made cordon bleu, which is like a butterfly chicken with ham and swiss wrapped, and then you bake it," said Denison High School junior Joshua Akin. "And I sauteed carrots and zucchini and rice."
The students were judged by a range of criteria including use of time, food taste and texture, along with creativity.
"I kind of know what these kids are going through," said Joseph Fistrovich, executive chef at Choctaw Casino and Resorts. "I did it once many, many years ago, so I know the nerves, the anxiety... so I understand what they're going through and I'm impressed, I really am."
Several students participating in Friday's competition also are a part of Grayson College's dual credit culinary program, teaching skills used in competition.
"There's no better skill to learn than knife skill for a chef," said Sherman High School senior Ryson Nelson, who won the competition. "You have to cut up something... you don't want to be cutting off your fingers or making improper cuts... you want all your cuts to be exact, so that they all cook the same and get done at the same time."
Many of these young competitors wish to continue their culinary careers, even with dreams of opening restaurants in Texoma.
"Knowing all the people there instead of having this megaplex highway with different people every day? That may be fun, but I'd rather know my customers and what they like," said Denison High School senior Tyler Kalinowski.
Other competitors came from Pilot Point, Gainesville, and North Lamar high schools.