Students best professional chefs in contest

Students best professional chefs in contest

Bakersfield College culinary students Dana Wesson, left, and Daisy Madrigal, 20, hold their trophy in which they earned by winning the Mammoth Blue Sky Fest on July 9.

Tyler McGinty, Opinions Editor

Over the summer, while many students keep school as far from their thoughts as possible, one group of Bakersfield College culinary students traveled to the Mammoth Blue Sky Fest to take top honors in the culinary competition on July 9, against many culinary professionals, including an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America.

“I don’t think we knew it was a competition on the level that it was at, because we were the only actual students there competing. Everyone else was actually culinary professionals,” said Summer LeBrecque, one of the culinary students in the competition.

“So, the fact that we actually placed first was quite a pat on the back for us just because we went up there not knowing what we were getting into, and we beat out some of the top chefs in that area,” LeBrecque said.

The dish that the team of BC students made that won the competition was Chicken Del Monaco, a dish made of breaded chicken with garlic, onions, a mixture of mushrooms, artichokes, cream sauce and seasonings. Served alongside the chicken was a salad composed of various colors of tomatoes and watermelons.

Not only did the students win an award and wooden bear trophy for their Chicken Del Monaco, they also received job offers and experience. Before the actual competition, the team helped out at various events with the very top chefs that they would defeat later.

In addition, Olimpo Alvarez and Sirahuen Martinez both received jobs after the competition, and Maura Chavez has a job offer because of the team’s victory.

“I think that added to our resumes as far as being employed by restaurants,” Martinez said. “Also, with the other chefs that were there, they were able to help us out by teaching us little techniques here or there.”

“It was a nice experience,” said Alvarez. “We all bonded, we got close.” As the team recalled the event, they all had smiles on their face as they talked about what happened.

“It was really fun, it was a really good experience,” said Martinez. “And we get to go back next year to defend our title.”