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High School Competition Cooking


Patrick A.
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Ok, This is the first of a few topics I am going to start to help me and our culinary team here at Silver at Silver High. We are part of a national program called ProStart for more info heres the site http://www.nraef.org/prostart/ . Its in part of the NRAEF or National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Here's it site http://www.nraef.org/index.asp .

The team last year, which i was a part of placed 2nd at state. The starter last year was a watermelon cold relish/soup. The entree was a ginger-pineapple pork chop with cous-cous and carrot bundles.I'll post some picture once i get them from our advisor.

Here's the basic Set up

gallery_51321_5348_644637.jpg

This is Gadsden, NM at Nationals last year.

We only have two gas burners and the two tables in a L shape as you can see and thats it. Nothing else. We have to bring all our supplies. There are four members on a team We aren't provided or allow any electricity. We have to do all our cooking on those two burners. We have to prepare in 60 minutes a starter, Entree (Protein, Starch, Veggie), and a dessert. They have to be plated on a standard white round plate. This year they made a new rule that we have to pick four knife cuts (you know a brunnoise, julienne, etc) and incorporated them into our dishes.

Anyway, Here's my question that a ask those of egullet to help me with. In other words be our mentor chefs. Does anyone have any ideas for a starter and Entree that we can cook on a stove?????? I have some ideas that i am going to play with, but i would like to have more insight into what you think will work. Thanks! :biggrin:

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How exciting!

What did the winning team do last year, and why do you think they landed in first instead of your team? Know your competition, and where the bar is set. Also, who are the judges? Foodie or nonfoodie types?

How many servings? What was your dessert, or is that new for this year? What's your budget?

I see from the web site that the competition is in San Diego in April. Avocados? Hispanic is pretty trendy these days, and tends to lend itself to the stove top and knife work.

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Sounds like a pretty tight set of parameters for a HighSchool competition. Any guidelines on the ingredients or can you bring anything you want ? Maybe you could pull off some Sodium Alginate goodies in under an hour and really wow the judges?

My only other suggestion would be to consider using Cast Iron with those portable gas burners in order to get the max cooking power... You could also consider deep or shallow frying an item just to show that you werent intimidated by the restrictions...

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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App - Parmesan crisps draped over a cup to make a basket filled with...mushrooms and bacon and....

Entree - poached salmon..rice pilaf.. both those can sit off heat for 10 min at the end to finish a veg

Dessert - Pineapple or banana or cherries Flambe

tracey

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

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How exciting!

What did the winning team do last year, and why do you think they landed in first instead of your team? Know your competition, and where the bar is set. Also, who are the judges? Foodie or nonfoodie types?

How many servings? What was your dessert, or is that new for this year? What's your budget?

I see from the web site that the competition is in San Diego in April. Avocados? Hispanic is pretty trendy these days, and tends to lend itself to the stove top and knife work.

The only feedback we got was that their products taste was fresher, is what the advisior found out. Most of the judges are chefs and culinary people from around the town and state.

We prepared two servings one is for the judges the other is for a display. The dessert i come up with last year was a twist on an old family recipe. It is basically a Mexican bread pudding that i added a whiskey sauce and green chile, apples, dried fruits. We did bake it in a Dutch oven last year and that went over really well with the judges. We don't really have a budget, but we do have to price the items correctly on our menu. The San diego Competition was a few years ago this year its going to be in Orlando, Florida. According what they told us at nationals. I was going to experiment with avocados, At nationals they had a team do a avocado mousse it looked interesting.

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Sounds like a pretty tight set of parameters for a HighSchool competition. Any guidelines on the ingredients or can you bring anything you want ?  Maybe you could pull off some Sodium Alginate  goodies in under an hour and really wow the judges?

My only other suggestion would be to consider using Cast Iron with those portable gas burners in order to get the max  cooking power... You could also consider deep or shallow frying an item just to show that you werent intimidated by the restrictions...

The only guidelines we have are that we have to show we properly store everything. We can bring anything we need, but like sauces and stuff like that we have to make in the 60 min block. This year they are expecting us to make our own broths and stuff within the range that we can bring all ready prepared..

Sodium Alginate was another idea i had. I have worked with it before. I was going to try it with the dessert, but maybe i'll try it with the stater or entree.

We have used a dutch oven last year. It went well with the judges.

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry its taken awhile for me to get back, but thank you all for your help. Competition is in two weeks and we come up with a menu and are playing with ideas. I post picture as soon as i can. Again thanks for your help.

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Here's our first attempts at our entree

This one is lamb with a chipote glaze

gallery_51321_5348_345517.jpg

This one is pork with a ancho chile glaze. I made this one.

gallery_51321_5348_184112.jpg

Both have a black bean rice mixture and a sauted veggie medley.

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I like the ideas for the meats and the rice, but I don't get the staid veggie medley. If you're going for something Latin/Mexican with the starch/protein, perhaps your vegetable should follow suit or at least play on that theme.

ETA: You could brine that pork before you get there and provide some interplay between the glaze and the brine: go spicy with the brine with mole tones, say.....

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

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Here's the semi-finalized entree and starter dish.

Entree:

gallery_51321_5348_421474.jpg

This is a Chipotle marinated/glazed lamb (We actual trim the rack down to show skill) with a green bean and mushroom medley with quinoa with toasted pine nuts and red and yellow bell peppers. It also has a sauce from the pan drippings

Starter:

gallery_51321_5348_633209.jpg

This is a avocado, black bean and corn stacked salad held together with mayo (We had to adjust this so it wasn't to overpowering) with a tomato, cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper salsa. We are having some trouble getting this to set up and not crumble when we move it.

We will be practicing again Monday.

If any one has ideas let me know.

I have recipes.

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What temperature are you serving the starter at? If it's at room temperature or warmer, you might be able to use methylcellulose to give it some structure. Cooler than that, gelatin might help. Neither would affect flavor or flavor intensity.

Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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