For the second year in a row, Jordan Middle School hosted the CPKulinary Challenge, a “Top Chef”-style cooking event at which eight teams from the school competed for trophies and gift certificates.
After school on Friday, March 14, the competing groups got to work in Jordan’s Culinary Arts lab, concocting dishes made with this year’s required ingredient, potato. Each team was comprised of one staff member and three student assistants.
“This type of competition has been a dream,” said Doreen Wydra, Culinary Arts teacher at Jordan, “and this event came to life with the financial support of California Pizza Kitchen.”
Last year, each team was required to make a pasta dish and a salad for the competition.
“The aromas coming out of each kitchen were amazing,” Wydra added, “making the job of choosing the winners very difficult.”
Celebrity judges at the competition were Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, CPK Executive Chef Kong, CPK Chef Jenny Howard and Chef Neil from Lakeside Country Club.
CPK executive Carol Flynn organized the event with Wydra, who worked with several staff members and students at the school to put on the competition.
The MisChefs team won the top prize for their cooked sweet potato and black bean flautas and sweet potato cupcake with toasted marshmallow and maple syrup frosting.
Teams made homemade gnocchi, meatballs, asparagus soup, smoothies, croutons containing potatoes, potato flour and potato chips, said Wydra. Other winning teams produced sliders, vegan Shepard’s Pie and ice cream, all using potato.
Wydra thanked the many staff members and students who decorated the Culinary Arts lab, coordinated judging times, served food and cleaned up. Students in the Digital Media and Yearbook classes recorded and interviewed team members. Parents were able to watch the action in the lab via SKYPE.