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Ogden, Utah, Job Corps Students Named "Top Chefs"

The Little Rock Job Corps Center hosted the first-ever culinary expo for the Dallas region on Oct. 1720. Weber Basin Job Corps Center of Ogden, Utah, took home the gold, winning the overall competition and in categories relating to taste, presentation and originality. The expo kicked off with a keynote address from P. Allen Smith, an award-winning garden and lifestyle designer and host of two public television programs.

Students then vied for the coveted title of “Top Chef” by showcasing their skills and knowledge through a written test and cooking competitions. All 68 team members participated in the “Knowledge Bowl” test and the first round of the cooking competition. Teams from the North Texas Job Corps Center in McKinney and the David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center in El Paso, Texas, came in second and third, respectively, while the host team from Little Rock won first place in the Knowledge Bowl.

Only the top 6 teams went on to the final round, in which they had three hours to prepare four dishes judged by top local chefs and media personalities such as Arkansas’ “Diamond Chef” Dan Capello; Evette Brady, executive chef at 1620 in Little Rock; and David Leathers of TLC’s “Extreme Food Sculptors.” 

During the expo, the students also participated in workshops and professional development sessions facilitated by local chefs. And advanced culinary arts students from the Treasure Island Job Corps Center in San Francisco, Calif., shared tips and insights about the advanced training program. “Culinary arts is one of the most popular training areas in Job Corps,” said Lorraine Lane, director of the Little Rock Job Corps Center.  “It’s great that the students get to showcase everything they’ve worked so hard to learn.” All participating students packed up their knives and left the competition with greater experience, knowledge and respect for teamwork.

Overall

  1. Weber Basin Job Corps Center (Ogden, Utah)
    Team members include (L-R) Shaun Stone-Gerardy, Bryton Vernon, Brittany Alcala, and Kelsea Doyle.
    First-place winners of Weber Basin Job Corps Center work hard to prepare their four dishes in the allotted time. Team members include (L-R) Shaun Stone-Gerardy, Bryton Vernon, Brittany Alcala, and Kelsea Doyle.
  2. North Texas Job Corps Center (McKinney, Texas)
    Team members include (L-R) Quillian Thomas, Azia Huntley, Zachary Hornung, and Natalie Gayfield.
    The North Texas Job Corps Center team won second place in the overall competition. Team members
    include (L-R) Quillian Thomas, Azia Huntley, Zachary Hornung, and Natalie Gayfield.
  3. David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center (El Paso, Texas)
    Johnathan Fretwell, of third-place winner David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center, prepares the pork tenderloin for round one of the competition.
    Johnathan Fretwell, of third-place winner David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center, prepares the pork
    tenderloin for round one of the competition.