Student Chefs Cook Up Awards

PHS culinary students gobble up prizes at statewide competition

Members of Payson’s FCCLA chapter attended the State Leadership Conference in Tucson recently.

Members of Payson’s FCCLA chapter attended the State Leadership Conference in Tucson recently.


The Payson High Family, Careers, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter this past weekend came home with not just medals, but some cash prizes for their culinary skills at the State Leadership Conference this year in Tucson, at the Westin La Paloma Resort. The weekend featured many fashion, child development, interior design, and culinary competitions.


Contributed photo

Levii Lopez came in first, in a cupcake decorating contest.


Contributed photo

Shoshanah Wright came in second, in a cupcake decorating contest.

Payson’s culinary arts students Shoshanah Wright and Megan Ploughe entered the Chapter Service Project Display competition by describing the nutrition lessons the chapter had been involved in with the third grade classes from Julia Randall Elementary School.

Earlier this year, PHS culinary students won a $1,250 scholarship from the Arizona Dairy Council to teach nutrition and create nutritious recipes. These funds helped the chapter along with the Payson Future Educators of America (FEA) chapter teach three lessons on nutrition. Shoshanah and Megan were selected as one of the top 10 for their presentation on this service project.

FCCLA traditionally only has one culinary event. It is a team event where the students receive recipes on the spot and must prepare the dishes with judges looking over their shoulders checking for sanitation and safety, as well as appropriate techniques.

Payson’s team of sophomores (Jennifer Bailey, Elizabeth Krigbaum and Nick Hatt) did not place, but had a good showing. Since there are more culinary students in the state than any other Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, FCCLA introduced four new culinary events this year. Payson had a superior showing in these new events.

Levii Lopez came in first winning $200 in the cupcake decorating contest and Shoshanah Wright came in second winning $100. Autumn Parrish came in third place winning $75 in the creative garnishing competition. Jennifer Bailey (sophomore) came in third, winning $75 in the new Mystery Basket competition.

Jennifer competed against some of the top students in the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) seniors. She was given graham crackers, green onions, a sweet potato, and a piece of beef tenderloin and came up with a stir fry that wowed the judges.

Payson should be proud of these aspiring chefs. If you need any catering done in the future, just give them a call at (928) 472-5750.


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