Payson High School (PHS) culinary arts students have been baking, sautéing, chopping and memorizing recipes for the last few months as they prepared for the competition season.
“Now the final scores have been tallied, the stress has abated and the aspiring chefs have excelled,” said Devon Wells, culinary arts teacher.
On March 22, Jennifer Bailey competed in the Careers Through Culinary Arts (C-CAP) program and earned a scholarship valued at $43,820 to the Art Institute of Colorado for an associate degree in culinary arts.
“Payson students have never earned a scholarship for an out-of-state culinary school,” said Wells. “We are excited for her and know she will adjust well to the snowbound community of Denver.”
At the awards ceremony, Jennifer also earned a $5,000 Dairy Council/Fuel Up To Play 60 scholarship for her work in teaching third-grade students nutrition. Payson came home with a sweep of the Dairy Council/Fuel Up To Play 60 awards with Dallas Walker earning $200 and a gift basket of cooking tools while Emily Hoffman earned $100 and a gift basket.
All three students were awarded photo shoots with Buffalo Bills pro football player John Fina at the awards ceremony at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale.
More culinary and FACS (Family and Consumer Science) students competed at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson at their Arizona Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition. Nine students competed in National Star Events and Arizona Proficiency events and all came home with a bronze or better category result. Dahana Zermeno, a sophomore at PHS won second place in salad preparation and earned $75 for her efforts.
For the last two years, PHS has dominated the cupcake competition. This year, Elizabeth Krigbraum came in a half a point behind the third place winner with a favored recipe of raspberry cupcakes with chocolate mousse filling. She came away with a gold and a score of 94 percent.
Payson students also competed in creative food art (garnishing), salad preparation, mystery basket, cupcake decorating and illustrated talk.
Wells said congratulations needed to go out to Payson FCCLA competitors Elizabeth Krigbraum-Gold, Dahana Zermeno, Lizbeth Ochoa, Olivia Long, Angel Kesinger, Kassandra Palmer-Silver, Jayla Larson, Ana Osorio and Richard Long-Bronze.
“The culinary program would like to say thank you to the community for their continued Credit for Kids donations that helps prepare, suit up, and build confidence in these inspiring chefs,” said Wells. “A special thank you to past culinary students who are now in the industry and at culinary schools for coming back to inspire and prepare this year’s competitors — Justin Richardson, Leticia Martinez, Levii Lopez and Autumn Parrish.”