Frisco ISD students prepared food recently in a MasterChef-style competition for residents of Parkview in Frisco, a retirement community. Parkview sponsored the competition and their residents served as judges.
Students had a short amount of time to prepare food before the judges rotated between the tables with scoring charts.
“We only had a couple of days to prepare,” said Caitlin Quinn, a junior at Reedy High School. “We were nervous and unsure, but we really hope everyone enjoyed what we served.”
The students were visited by Parkview Chef Russell Shields in preparation for the big event.
“I talked with the students about my career and how it differs from a typical restaurant,” Shields said. “I guided them through the expectations of a diverse community while adhering to a variety of dietary restrictions. I wish that I had been educated about a role like mine when I was in culinary school.”
The students moved swiftly about the largest restaurant-grade kitchen in Frisco to prepare one dessert and an entree including a protein, sauce, starch and vegetable.
On one side of the kitchen students were kneading dough, while others were sautéing, plating and chopping. It was a busy space with a stressful, yet determined atmosphere filled with beeps and alarms.
Chefs Chad Burnett and Sara Hosford have trained the students well. There was hardly any downtime to celebrate the plating of the meals before the students quickly began scurrying around the kitchen to clean.
The Parkview residents were thrilled with the opportunity to judge and are looking forward to the next competition.
Frieda Tolkov has two grandchildren in Frisco ISD and, like many, took her role as a judge seriously.
“I think a competition like this is a great experience for the students and I’ve enjoyed tasting the various foods of up-and-coming chefs,” Tolkov said. “It’s hard to tell which was my favorite but I loved the pasta salad and chicken.”
Suad Abughazaleh was also a judge and taught domestic science before retiring.
“The dishes were delicious and the presentation was admirable,” Abughazaleh said. “I truly appreciate the hard work put into this. They are still so young and they have so many experiences and opportunities ahead of them.”
Running a kitchen is nothing new to the CTEC culinary students, who operate the student-run restaurant, Saveur. Click here to make your reservation.
Frisco ISD students have the opportunity to take Advanced Culinary Arts at the Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) after completing a series of prerequisites, including Introduction to Culinary Arts.
Students in the Introduction to Culinary Arts pursue a Texas Food Handlers food safety certification before moving to Culinary Arts and Advanced Culinary Arts at the CTEC. The Advanced course is a dual-credit class thanks to a partnership with Collin College.
With a planned sequence, students can graduate with a diploma with a Business and Industry Endorsement and certifications that get them started in the industry immediately. Click here to access the FISD Course Catalog and learn more about the culinary program.
Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural competition:
1st Place - Hayden Farrar and Caitlin Quinn
BBQ Pulled Chicken, Cole Slaw, Hoe Cake, Pecan Pie
2nd Place - Kyle Bowser and Sophia Broadwater
Chicken n Dumplings, Sautéed Zucchini, Raspberry Cheesecake
3rd Place - Kaleb Jones and Reece Marra
Baked Chicken with Jalapeno Cream Sauce, Roasted Broccoli, Brown Rice Pilaf, Key Lime Pie
The District values the partnerships with area businesses, including Parkview in Frisco, which has collaborated on numerous events throughout the District. Click here to learn more about becoming a partner.