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Turning up the heat

TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010

Rogers High School students turn a classroom into a kitchen to practice for their upcoming culinary competition. From left are Taylor Rickard, Meranda Langford, Jaime Rogers and Jeni Williams. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON)
Rogers High School students turn a classroom into a kitchen to practice for their upcoming culinary competition. From left are Taylor Rickard, Meranda Langford, Jaime Rogers and Jeni Williams. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON)

Teams coordinate their skills for shot at invitational

Searing, deboning and mincing; then stuffing, soaking and sautéing; and a cornucopia of other cooking techniques were practiced by a cooking team Monday at Rogers High School in hopes of being the tops at a culinary competition on Saturday in Seattle.

What does winning mean? “College,” said Meranda Langford, a senior at Rogers.

Langford is part of a four-person team competing at the 10th annual Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational at South Seattle Community College. Rogers, Lewis and Clark and Ferris high schools will compete against 19 other schools to win bragging rights and the chance for scholarships. This is the only cooking competition Rogers will participate in this year.

Langford, Taylor Rickard, Jaime Rogers, Jeni Williams and alternate Alysha Mills are all new to the pressure of demonstrating their cooking skills for a ranking.

And “it’s an intense competition,” said their teacher, Dorene Brown.

The team has been practicing for the past four months, and even before that, Brown said. They have to make a starter, an entrée and a dessert.

So, to begin with, there will be three variations on scallops, a leg and thigh of game hen stuffed with sweet sausage and served with thyme pan sauce, a bacon miso barley and marinated vegetable medley; and for dessert, bacon crème caramel with raspberry mint sorbet.

It all has to be done in an hour. The team will be judged on sanitation, safety, organizational skills, technical skills, menu, presentation and flavor. If they take the top spot, they will go to the national competition in Kansas.

Brown described the food as “delicious” and the team as well prepared. “They’ve made these dishes 40 times.”

While the four teens were adept at making fine cuisine – masterfully working their way around the small cooking station – they admitted to not cooking at home.

Except for Langford, who said, “Sometimes I make cakes.”



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