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Discovery Kitchen Cookoff returns to MISD

The cookoff was held on Thursday at Coleman High School.

MIDLAND, Texas — You've probably seen the cooking show "Chopped" and wondered what it'd be like to compete in it. Well, some students from midland ISD got the chance to actually try it out!

Culinary students from Midland High, Legacy High and Coleman High School came together to compete in the annual "Chartwells Discovery Kitchen Cookoff."

The purpose of this Chopped-style competition is to strengthen students' culinary arts skills in a fun and engaging way.

"If they decide to take culinary further than high school, it gives them some skills to take with them in addition to what they're already learning in school," said Elizabeth Karvonen, marketing specialist for Chartwells. "Also being competitive, I feel like is just fun. They get to have the trophy for the year, bragging rights and it's just fun to get all the schools together in one area to compete."

Students from all three schools got the chance to learn from actual chefs with ingredients they normally might not have access to.

“Once they get into it, you can see the smiles, you see the laughter," said Joshua Blevins, executive chef for Chartwells and Midland ISD. "For me they don’t even have to say anything. I can see it in their faces and their eyes, they’re enjoying themselves. But what is rewarding is later if I see them walking in the schools or something, ‘Hey Chef Josh!’ It creates a memory for them. Not just of me, but for their experience.”

Students enjoyed, not just cooking up dishes for the competition, but also being able to do it with their friends and classmates.

"Going into this, it's been fun for the past couple weeks that I've done it," said Lauren Scott, a sophomore at Coleman and culinary student competitor. "Being with the people that I'm cooking with, it's a great experience because they're very welcoming. So joining in a couple weeks ago feels pretty good, and I just love to do it."

Chartwells said they hope to attract more students and schools to participate in next year’s cookoff.

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