As I type, a group of students from Katella High School are prepping as California's entrant in the national Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) STAR culinary arts finals in Orlando, Florida. Let's all stop reading, close our eyes, collectively send good karma their...and back to who these young guns are and why it's so important we root for them.
From the press release:
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Students Noemi Ruiz a senior, along with Ian Villanueva and Jonathan Cayax, recent Katella graduates who will study culinary at OC community colleges in September, won the regional competition in February, going up against 15 other high schools from LA, Ventura and Orange County. In April, the trio took first place in Fresno at the FHA-HERO State Leadership Meeting over 23 other schools. The students have all been enrolled in the school's culinary classes for three years, part of Katella's Hospitality and Recreation Career Pathway which began in 1995, as one of six model pathway sites in the state...They will prepare one of three menus with entrees of either herbed apple glazed chicken, beef tenderloin with Southwestern style sauce or mushroom pork scaloppini. They will be judged on food production and food taste/presentation. The teams of three will have 30 minutes to construct a time management plan and an hour to prepare food products and garnish.
And let's also send some goodwill over to the Catch's director of culinary desmadre, Tom Hope, who put Noemi, Ian, and Jonathan through the ringer over consecutive weekends with the tough love needed to succeed in the kitchen.
If the Katella team wins, they'll be the second OC high school this year to win a national cooking competition, Santa Ana Valley having won earlier this year. Go get 'em, chavos!