Yesterday, the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF) hosted the finals for their annual Latin Legacy Culinary Competition at ICE. Three high school students from Kingsbridge International High School-Walton Educational Campus in the Bronx donned their aprons for a chance to win a partial ICE scholarship. Since 1982, CHCF has provided programs and services such as childcare and family health education for Latino children and their families. The culinary competition is a chance for high school students with a passion for the culinary arts to express their passion and encourage them to pursue careers in the industry.

Before the big cook-off, each student submitted an interview and original recipe. Then, three students were selected to prepare their dishes for the judges. Each student prepared their entrée and ICE Director of Student Affairs Andy Gold helped them navigate ICE’s professional kitchen. Robert Peralta made Shrimp Fettuccine with Garlic Bread and Steamed Broccoli. Katherine Cruz made Lasagna Rolls, Turkey-Style and the winner, Shankary Pena made Marinated Crab Meat Eschabeche with Tostones.

Pena was selected as the winner after being judged on originality, presentation and flavor. The judges were Chef Jacques Gautier of Palo Santo, Chef Denisse Oller of Denisse’s Table, CHCF Executive Director Elba Montalvo and past competition winner and ICE alum Austin Crespo. Crespo emphasized the importance of experimenting in the kitchen, telling the students to always try something new with whatever they could find in the fridge. Hopefully all three are able to keep experimenting with their favorite flavors and ingredients in the kitchen.

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