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 the Bronx donned their aprons for a chance to win a partial ICE scholarship worth $15,000.
Since 1982, CHCF has provided programs and services such as childcare and family health education for Latino children and their families. This year marked the sixth annual culinary competition, which was founded to give high school students with a love of the culinary arts a chance 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 kitchens. Kendrick Martinez made Manchego Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Butternut Squash Soup. Robert Peralta made Stuffed Crab and Rice with Pigeon Peas. And Katherine Cruz made Stuffed Shells with Chicken, Arugula and Creamy Alfredo Sauce
The students were then judged on originality, presentation and flavor. The judges were Evette Ríos of The Chew, Chef Denisse Oller of Denisse’s Table and Chef Jacques Gautier of Palo Santo. In the end, Katherine Cruz was awarded the scholarship. Chef Andy will present her with the award at CHCF’s annual fundraiser, A Slice of Latin America, on March 15. Hopefully all three are able to keep experimenting with their favorite flavors and ingredients in the kitchen.