Chicago high school students put cooking skills to the test with 1st CPS culinary challenge

Winning team earns $2,500 in scholarships
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Saturday full of flavor. CPS high school students took on their first culinary competition of the year.

Five teams went head to head to each make different meals.

"It was really our first competition so we actually got a feel for it," said North Grand junior Josue Maldonado. "It was really fun."

Chicken was the protein for each meal students made. Teams added more to their dishes like Cajun potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes and kale.

A few professional chefs were also on hand to judge. The winning team earns $2,500 in scholarships.

"You see these kids all put their menus together and plan everything out. They're communicating really well," said Chef Corey Drupe. "Things like this give me hope for the future of the culinary industry since we've gotten beat up pretty bad in the last 20 months or so."

The yummy smell in the room is worthy enough of giving every team a win here but to please the judges. Students need to focus on cleanliness, technique and communicating with each other as they make these delicious meals.

Parents also took in the action as their kids sauced up their special dish. Glenda Maldonado has seen her son find love in the kitchen since he was a kid.

"He was five, six years old and he would put an apron on and said grandma teach me how to cook," said Maldonado. "And he just took it from there, and truth be told he cooks better than I do."

Those talents he and his peers showed off this morning appeared to please the judges getting a taste of the dishes to wrap up the completion.

"I was looking at everybody's and everybody really did a good job. So I'm really proud of everybody," said Josue.

Clemente High School took the top spot with their Asian-inspired dish. Dunbar Vocational Career Academy came in second.
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