A spicy mayonnaise took a burrito bowl over the top and to first place in the Denison High School cooking competition Thursday. The winning team, named Spicy Bois, was comprised of the duo of juniors Chloe Huntoon and Madison Deen.
This was DHS’s first year to compete in the competition, which is hosted annually by Aramark, the food service provider for the district and other districts throughout the state. Three teams competed in this year’s event.
The theme for this year’s competition was Latin fusion. Students were allowed to prepare and practice a recipe ahead of time but were not told the mystery ingredients used in the competition. The teams were required to complete the meal within the time constraint of 25 minutes.
The winning team prepared a burrito bowl with cilantro lime rice, sauteed chicken mixed with corn and spices. The bowl was topped with lettuce, lime, pico de gallo, bell pepper, jalepeno, tomatoes, jimica and a cayenne pepper spiced mayonnaise.
Huntoon explained they chose to go with a bowl because it was different.
“Everyone loves a burrito and it was deconstructed,” Huntoon said. “I’m really excited about the next competition but I’m kind of nervous too.”
Deen said her interest in cooking came from her family.
“My whole family likes to cook,” Deen said. “My grandparents and my dad really got me into cooking at a young age by letting me help out with dinner. Anytime we don’t know what to make, it’s taco night or burrito night.”
The judging panel, which was comprised of the district’s assistant superintendent, superintendent, two school board members and one local community member, agreed the homemade mayonnaise was what set the dish apart.
The teams were graded based on four factors — appearance, taste, degree of difficulty and use of the secret ingredients. The dish was required to make use of at least one of the mystery ingredients. The winning dish made use of two mystery ingredients — corn and jimica.
The team entitled the Beefy Boys took second place with their stuffed quesadillas. The quesadillas were filled with corn, chicken, jalepeno, green pepper and onions. A sour cream and salsa mix and cilantro garnish was on the side.
The third placed team, Iconic Girls, made chicken street tacos. The team sauteed the chicken with onions and prepared a chipotle mayo sauce. They also incorporated mango as their mystery ingredient.
The recipes were required to fit within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Department of Agriculture guidelines and regulations for the school. This way, the winning recipe can be added to the database of recipes which can then be showcased throughout the school.
The winning team will now progress onto a state-wide competition called the Lonestar Chef Competition hosted by Aramark. The top three teams from that next competition will receive scholarship money.