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Francis Howell students battle in culinary arts competition

Francis Howell students battle in culinary arts competition

Four FHSD high schools faced off in the 13th Annual Iron Chef Competition, sponsored by Sodexo. The culinary arts competition was held on November 15 at Francis Howell High School.

Dozens of students showed off their skills in the kitchen ranging from organization, presentation, time management and cooking techniques. 

Each high school assembled a team of seven students that are currently enrolled in a culinary arts class. The teams consisted of five chefs, a table setter and dishwasher.

The students had 2 and ½ hours to prepare three dishes. Each team was instructed to prepare a meal that would feed 100 guests. An entrée, side and dessert were to be prepared from scratch, and at least one dish had to incorporate a secret ingredient – chutney.

The students said they had been experimenting with their recipes for months.
Xavier Mitchell, a senior at Francis Howell North High School, said he loved being a part of the event. “

There are many chefs in my family and cooking has always been a passion of mine.”

The Family and Consumer Science teacher at Francis Howell High School, Amanda McGovern, led her students in the competition. She said the Iron Chef competition gives students the opportunity to show they have the skills necessary to be successful in the restaurant industry.

“It’s the experimental learning and getting to show off how hard we are working in the classroom every day,” McGovern said. “The students love getting feedback from the judges about their creations.”  

The panel of four celebrity judges rated each team on presentation, flavor, creativity and team effort. Sodexo, the District’s food service provider, sponsored the event and donated funds toward the ingredients and utensils. Sodexo District Chef Karin Mann shared how the culinary competition is a great way to give students the opportunity to practice their cooking skills in a real-world setting. 

“We hope the students take the lessons they learned tonight into their careers. They learned how to prepare amazing food, but also how to work as a team.” 

Francis Howell North students took home the 1st place trophy and will receive a future opportunity of experiential learning at Stone Soup Cottage, allowing the students real-world experience from a locally owned and operated five-star business. 

Members of the public who attended the event also voted and gave the “People's Choice Award” to Francis Howell Central.

Congratulations to all of the teachers, students, judges and Sodexo staff that made the competition a huge success.

Also, a huge thanks to all of our Senior PALS who attended the event as special VIP guests!