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Chopped Challenge at Dater High!

Students at Gilbert A. Dater High School can handle the heat in the kitchen.

More than 10 students enrolled in Dater’s Culinary Career course competed in a competition, modeled after the popular television series “Chopped.”

The challenge put their culinary skills to the test.

“This event inspires students to get creative and be adaptive with the culinary skills they have developed throughout their time in my class,” culinary teacher, Trew Quackenbush, said. “This challenge prepares students interested in culinary arts for real scenarios where things go wrong and they have to act fast.”

Similar to the show, students were given mystery ingredients—poblano peppers, onion jam and parsnips— to incorporate into their dishes. Students had 20 minutes to study the ingredients and develop a strategy.

Students were against the clock, creating their culinary masterpieces in an hour. The junior chefs cooked, plated and served their meals to the panel of judges, which included Dater’s principal, assistant principal and senior support specialist.

“I really love this course because I get to use what I’ve learned at home,” junior, Brian Harris, said. “I love cooking for my mom and sautéing, braising and showing off other skills I learned from the class. She really enjoys eating what I make her and letting me know that this culinary class is really paying off.”

Students presented their dishes, including a gourmet burger with parsnip fries and stuffed poblano peppers, to the panel of judges.

A group of students who prepared salmon and cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers were named chopped champions.

“Win or lose, each student leaves the day satisfied with what they have created and a full belly,” Quackenbush said. 

Parsnip ShavingBell Peppers Trew and Student