Far East culinary competition cooks up some fun

Far East culinary competition cooks up some fun

by Lydia McGinnis, Isaiah Peebles and Riku Long
Kinnick High School

The DoDEA Pacific Culinary Arts Far East Competition was held Feb. 4 at Yokota Air Base, with seven schools competing. The Culinary Institute of America gave out 4-year scholarships: 1st $2,000, 2nd $1,500 and 3rd $1,000.

Here’s feedback from some of the competitors:

“The competition was a great learning experience. Preparing for this competition put the amount of hard work and dedication you need for ProStart into perspective. I truly do appreciate the time we practiced after-school and weekends, the multiple checks of paperwork, and help from other students. I walked away with memories that will last a lifetime and new knowledge of working in a kitchen and functioning with different personalities. While preparing for competition, it sparks your creativity because you have to create the menu. You have the opportunity to be original and to show your creativity. During judging its bitter-sweet depending on how judges feel about the menu. This competition is for those who love the challenge of taking control and doing things on your own. I feel so blessed to have made third place, it may sound corny but making top three wouldn't mean anything to me without teamwork and dedication. I give all the glory to God for placing third. As captain, I can say I appreciate my partners and teacher for sticking it out with me and helping get us to third.”

~Lydia McGinnis (Main Course) Level 2

“It was a very interesting experience. The level of expertise at this competition is extremely high. Most people think that all the culinary students do is cook. There is so much more that goes into this competition. There are six different categories at Far East, and in order to place in the top three, you have to be consistent throughout the entire competition.  I loved meeting the other teams and their big personalities such as Korea & Kadena. More importantly, the competition creates memories that you will never forget. I really enjoyed myself, my teammates, and the opportunity!”

~Isaiah Peebles (Dessert) Level 2

“The competition was a blast. I had a lot of fun meeting the other teams and seeing all of the other dishes that were made. I thought I would be more nervous and pressured at the competition but that wasn’t the case at all. Surprisingly, I was able to enjoy myself. It was really fun to be able to share the dish that you and your team had created with others that had done the same. I will be sure to take all that I learned from this with me.”

~Riku Long (Appetizer) Level 1

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