Culinary Competition Serves Side of History - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Culinary Competition Serves Side of History

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Central's culinary competition served up savory specialties, with a dash of career experience.

"This is what they would actually do if they were actually working in a business at a restaurant," said Superintendent Jay Badams, who doubled as a food judge. 

The competition is just a small peek into Central's impressive culinary arts program, which prepares students to work in a field where they'll find job security.

"Well they learn how to buy they learn how to shop... it's a business that'll never go out of business cause we all have to eat," said Culinary Arts Instructor Dan Bukowski. 

Both the menu and the event have gotten larger since Bukowski started it 20 years ago.

"It started off with maybe fifteen, twenty people, with one item," he said. "Now we have a poultry, a pork, a beef, a seafood and a vegetarian dish... and a side dish and dessert."

Five Senior culinary arts students were chosen to compete, based on their grades, attendance, and passion for the business.

Edwin Gonzales was one of the lucky few. He was tasked with preparing the fried catfish.

"You're paying attention to everybody else making sure that yours look good, everybody else is making sure that theirs looks good, so it's kind of hard trying to keep focus," he said. 

From fried catfish to these decadent chocolate brownies, the dishes were more than just delicious. There's a history twist to the menu, in honor of the Perry 200 celebration.

"We researched different recipes and things that people ate then back then," said Bukowski. "A lot of seafood, a lot of beef, a lot of pork, so I incorporated all those items into the menu."

We asked the judges for their verdict on these 1800's eats.

"Right now I'm leaning toward the catfish, but I'm gonna try everything one more time just to make sure," said Badams. 

"The pork part was probably the best," food judge David  Runser. "It is delicious."

The winning dish was the creamed green beans au gratin, made by Senior Anthony Goodwine and his cooking assistant, Junior Haley Maxwell.

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