SAN ANTONIO -- An hour to cook and half an hour to present. That's all the time 16 high school students got before local restaurant managers and chefs graded their salsas, and awarded first, second and third place finishers with a combined $1,500 in scholarship money.
"It'd mean a lot," said Taft High School senior Tiffany Aranda, referring to the scholarships. "It'd definitely help my parents out trying to get to college and such."
Aranda loves to cook and has decided to pursue a culinary career after she graduates.
"I like to be able to give somebody something that I made and that's for them and that they like," she said.
Her partner in this competition was Jose Reyes, also a Taft senior. He comes from a family of cooks, and he too wants to go into the food industry after college.
"Everybody cooks in my family," he said. "If I could cook like them, that'd be amazing."
The two made a cucumber and apple guacamole. Not the first ingredient that comes to mind, but it’s delicious.
"It's sweet, but not too sweet, and it's got a little kick at the end," Reyes said.
Judges had to pick the three best salsas from a field of eight local high school teams. Once they were through, the public was allowed to taste and vote for a fourth 'people's choice' winner.
St. Philip's College students judged the team's in the kitchen on things like sanitation and knife skills.
The list of winners was as follows:
First ($500 each) | Steele High School | Shukira Al-Ara-Ibi, Ty Craighead
Second ($500 each) | Taft High School | Tiffany Arand, Jose Reyes
Third ($500 each) | La Vernia High School | Dustin Norman, Aubrey Stewart
People’s Choice Award ($500 each) | Brandeis High School | Alex Vargas, Allison Kirby