Lee Culinary Arts celebrates latest success

Culinary Arts students at Lee High School have been very busy this year. In February, the juniors and senior participated in the SA Works Job Shadow Day with H-E-B. Students spent the day shadowing various H-E-B departments including the market, bakery and butcher shop. They worked alongside employees learning what it takes to become an H-E-B partner. Students also prepared an extravagant meal with the employees. They served a charcuterie, salad with handmade dressing, artisan breads, chicken Cordon Bleu, Buerre Blanc sauce, and two types of tarts for dessert. It was a fabulous day for the kids.

On March 26 five culinary students met at the school at 6:00 a.m. and headed to south San Antonio to compete in the Paella competition. After a long, hot, windy day, the students had produced two beautiful paella’s with what the judges said was excellent smoke flavor. The students placed 6th in the competition. Not a bad showing at all considering that the wind blowing out the fire on the burner continually. Two other students joined the team at the park for the day to help at the H-E-B tent making paella. The students participating in the event were Deanna Wilson, Vivica Manuel, who helped H-E-B, and Draven De La Garza, Robert Garza, Violet Luna, Rayna Trevino and Lourdes Gamboa—Lee Paella team.

Two teams of students met at 7:15 a.m. on April 1 to pack up and head to the Art Institute to compete in the Future Chef’s Mystery Basket Challenge. The teams had to plan, and execute a three-course meal using 12 of the 20 mystery ingredients, including two types of protein, and two of four specific mystery ingredients. Students were allowed 30 minutes with Chef Rohan to plan their menu and three hours to complete the meal. The teams were:

  • Team 1- Violet Luna, Mariela Villegas, Victoria Acerra
  • Team 2- Draven De La Garza, Robert Garza, Alex Arcos

The boys team placed 2nd and had never had the opportunity to practice, which is an amazing feat. The girls team came out on top with a first place finish.

North East swept the competition with Roosevelt taking third place. Besides winning a wonderful trophy and medal, the students also won fabulous prizes including a $50 gift certificate to eat at Whiskey Cake, a $50 gift certificate to Ace-Mart Restaurant Supply and other goodies. The girls will also shadow the executive chef at Whiskey Cake.

On April 7, the Lee Culinary students participated in the St. Phillips Culinary Invitational. The school had two teams participate in the mystery basket competition and three individuals participate in the spring showpiece cake decorating competition. Lee took the silver and the bronze in the mystery basket competition and the bronze in the cake competition. Roosevelt High School participated in the State FCCLA competitions and placed 5th in the mystery basket competition.

Overall, this spring has proven to be a fantastic demonstration of the great work going on in North East ISD Culinary Arts programs.  


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The Paella team battled the elements at the Paella Challenge Competition.

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One of the two teams at the Future Chef's Mystery Basket Challenge.

the -art -institute

The Lee team hoists its trophies at the Future Chef's Mystery Basket Challenge.

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A Lee student celebrates a third place bronze medal win at the St. Phillips Invitational.

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The Bronze medal team at the St. Phillips Mystery Basket competition.

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The Bronze medal team at the St. Phillips Mystery Basket competition.

Posted on 04/20/2017