PCC’s culinary arts skills team takes home bronze medal in regional competition

Students with PCC's culinary arts skills team / Christina Dawidowicz FOX21 News
Students with PCC's culinary arts skills team / Christina Dawidowicz -- FOX21 News

PUEBLO, Colo. — Pueblo Community College’s work in the American Culinary Federation’s regional skills competition in Joliet, Illinois proved to be a historic one.

The team competed in the regional competition last week for the very first time, taking home a bronze medal.

“You have to know everyone’s dish, you have to practice it. If someone were to get hurt, you’d have to step and know every dish and know every skills,” said 18-year-old Irene Maes, who is in her second year of college and last year of high school at Pueblo West High.

“It’s extremely rigorous, it’s very objective it is what it is. If you’re wrong you just don’t score,” said Benjamin Bedard, chef instructor faculty member at PCC.

Their hard work paid off, earning the bronze medal in the two-day competition.

PCC also had a student selected to compete to be student chef of the year.

“Probably the most challenging was honestly, making the recipe for it. ‘Cause it has to be hot dessert and cold deserts are usually easier ’cause you can mold them and freeze them. So, I kind of wanted to have something like, composed and really clean ,and that’s hard to do with a warm dessert, ’cause it tends to fall apart,” said Mikaila Clausen, a student at PCC.

Clausen also took home a bronze medal for her work.

“They have you on like, camera and they have like, five or six judges that are watching you and monitoring everything that you do. But, it’s not kind of like an element of surprise ’cause I knew the ingreidents I had to use and I had a whole plan,” Clausen said.

The skills team was made up of four students and one alternate.

They competed against 18 other teams from several other states.

Now, school officials say they’re being looked at as a leader in southern Colorado.

“Fort Carson, they’re team that’s going to compete in Fort Lee in about three weeks, they’re coming down on Saturday, so we can help them get better and show them, ‘this is what you need to do.’ It’s never been that way, and now people are looking at Pueblo Community College for leadership, and we’re very proud of that,” Bedard said.

PPC’s culinary arts skills team says their plan now is to make it to regionals again next year, go for the gold and hopefully it make it to the national competition.

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