Culinary Cooks its Way to State


Elizabeth Robles, Staff Writer/Layout and Design Editor

On Feb. 9, the Azle Culinary team competed in the ProStart Regional in Frisco and took 2nd place out of 17 schools, which qualifies them for the state competition. The dishes they created were Crispy Ruby Trout Roulade as an appetizer, Beurre Noisette Prime New York Strip as an entree and Blood Orange Cream Gelée as a dessert which came out to a total of $52.

Chef Joseph Koons advises the culinary team, whose members are team captain Houraye Niang, Gracie Wynns, Kevin Paris, Alyssa Moen, Daniela Rodriguez, and Joseph Kotter. They will be traveling to San Antonio after their school sendoff to compete for the state title on March 8-9.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into making the perfect dish to achieve this, the culinary team meets up right after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to practice.

“At competition, we go to a college the day before we compete and we check in our ingredients and put everything away,” junior Kevin Paris said. “The next day we come back and get ready to cook. We have 5 minutes to talk to the chefs and tell them what we are making that day and tell them who we are.”

They then have 60 minutes to cook everything and go to critique to find out what they need to fix for the next time they cook. All the team members have different responsibilities: cooking the entree, appetizer, and dessert which have been strategically put together by Chef Koons as well as Andrew Womack with Ben E. Keith.

Chef Koons speaks on how culinary is more than just cooking and eating and it’s really a science and a lot of thought gets put into their dishes.

“I feel this is well deserved for the kids. They put a lot of practice into this and we put a lot of investigation into these dishes in order to practice the food,” Koons said. “It’s not just eating a dish, we’re tasting it and saying what have we done correct? What can we do differently? And once you understand the rules of these competitions then winning is something that should be expected.”