Saturday, February 8, 2014

Scripps Ranch High cooks to top of "Teen Iron Chef"

Scripps Ranch High School took home the coveted "giant fork" trophy, topping fellow Culinary Arts and Management students from San Diego, Morse, Madison, and Hoover high schools in the ninth annual Teen Iron Chef competition.

Defending champion Madison High School came in second. In the competition, teams of four students from each school have one hour to prepare a three-course meal, judged by some of San Diego's top chefs. Additional pressure is put on the students by giving them an ingredient, only revealed when their one hour begins, that must be incorporated into the menu. This year's secret ingredient: honey.

Kimberly Coelho is the culinary arts program teacher at Scripps Ranch High School; at Madison, Justin Halbert is the instructor. This year's judges included: Ed Powers of Chili's; Ken Irvine from Bleu Boheme; Durwin Daniels of Fish Market; Jon Weber from Cowboy Star; and Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room.

Teen Iron Chef was the brainchild of a College, Career and Technical Education teacher who wanted her students to experience competitive cooking and based the San Diego Unified School District's competition on the Iron Chef America series on the Food Network.

The event is sponsored by the California Restaurant Association San Diego chapter and was held at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center in Clairemont, one of the few facilities in San Diego that can handle five teams cooking at one time.

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