Regional culinary competition

Silverado takes second at HD Chopped
Posted on 11/02/2017

VICTORVILLE — Culinary students from eight local high schools showcased their skills Wednesday at High Desert Chopped, a culinary competition inspired by the cooking show of the same name, with Hesperia High School taking home the top prize and Silverado High taking second place.


Now in its second year, the regional contest is put together by the Mountain Desert Career Occupational Pathways JPA and was again hosted by Victor Valley High School in the campus’s state-of-the-art culinary facility.

Students were given a specified amount of time to create an original dish using predetermined ingredients, and were judged by local industry professionals on taste, presentation, cooking procedures, efficiency, sanitation and creativity.


Hesperia dethroned last year’s winner, Victor Valley High.


Silverado High was a close second, offering up bell pepper-stuffed chicken served with scalloped potatoes, pureed potato and sauteed green beans with a mushroom pomegranate sauce. The Hawks’ team featured students Monique Dawes-Jeffers, Kimberly Rodriguez, Hunter Hogue and Giovanni Valdez. They studied under culinary arts teacher Geovanni Sanchez.


Barstow High School was awarded third by judges Chad Cornwell (who owns local catering business Treats by Em) and Jason Faver (a culinary arts instructor for the Federal Bureau of Prisons).  


Other participants included Apple Valley High, Granite Hills High, Lucerne Valley High and Serrano High.


Each team prepared its dish on the spot in the VVHS facility and presented their food one by one. Judges praised the performance of all participants but especially liked Hesperia High’s handling of the ingredients, which included chicken, potatoes, green beans and more.


The Hesperia High team featured students Dylan Lauwers, Francisco Fernandez and Michelle Marroquin. The Scorpions’ teacher is Christopher Pisciotti and the instructional assistant is Sherry Jones.


“The regional Chopped competition allows students to demonstrate their culinary knowledge and skills while involving industry professionals in evaluating student performance and assisting in keeping high school training relevant to the industry and local employer needs,” said McKenzie Tarango, Career Technical Education Coordinator for the Victor Valley Union High School District.


Another regional culinary competition, Sweet Genius, will test student’s baking skills. Sweet Genius will be held at Silverado High on Dec. 13. _ VVHS team






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