It took 10 days of anxious waiting for the e-mail to come through, but it finally did on Valentine’s Day. The news was good.
The Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) competition selected Payson High School (PHS) junior Autumn Parrish one of the top 10 juniors in the state.
Parrish will move on to the final senior competition in March where she will prepare lunch for the event with the other top Arizona juniors.
Professional chefs will assess her performance to determine what awards will be given. Traditionally, five summer culinary camp scholarships have been awarded, one as far away as New York’s Culinary Institute of America.
Parish will discover how she did in finals competition at an awards ceremony on March 17 at the Phoenix Hilton.
Two other students competed with Parrish at C-CAP on Feb. 4 at the Metro Tech High School in Phoenix: Levii Lopez (junior) and Jimmy Brown (senior). While making a good showing, the two did not make the cut to move on in competition.
C-CAP works with underserved public high school students across the country to prepare them for careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
The national non-profit organization has the largest independent culinary scholarship program in the United States. C-CAP has awarded $34 million in scholarships and donated $2.7 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms since 1990.
Payson has been involved with the C-CAP program since 2005.
“I remember asking Bill Lawson, our CTE director, if we could join C-CAP that first year and his comment was, ‘if only one student were to get a scholarship, it would be worth it,’” said Devon Wells, PHS culinary educator, in a press release.
Over the years, Payson culinary students have earned more than $100,000 in scholarships, said Wells.
The C-CAP competition is not the first in which Parrish has competed and won recently. She received an award in the Family, Consumer and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) Knife Skills competition held at PHS.
If the community would like to further help PHS culinary students, don’t miss out on the upcoming Chef Event tomorrow, Feb. 29, at the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., or come to the Taste of Rim Country on March 3 at the Payson Public Library.