Future Chefs stir up competition

(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Lawton 4th and 5th graders competed in the 12th annual Future Chefs challenge on Thursday afternoon in Lawton High School's cafeteria.

Around 35 students submitted Asian Fusion themed recipes back in January, and among them, 10 were chosen to compete.

The students, paired with cookes from schools across Lawton, started preparing their food before school had even gotten out.

Jo Mariah Bethune said she decided to make sushi – not only because it's her favorite food, but because it lets her be creative.

"It's nice," she said. "You can make decorations out of cooking. It can be your feelings or anything."

The students felt the nerves as our own Matt Dipirro – along with five other judges – tried their food and asked them about it.

Jillian Melton-Wiley made bulgogi. She said cooking with her dad inspired her to compete.

"I think it's really fun and it makes me happy," she said. "Watching the cooking shows it makes me feel like I can cook."

Steve Dyer, the general manager of the child nutrition program, said the competition is held every year to let the kids show what they can do and to teach them something while they're at it.

"It's really geared to try to teach healthy nutrition to our students," Dyer said. "Educating them in many different ways because they use a lot of skills when they put this together."

While the judges seemed to enjoy all the unique dishes, there was one that stood out the most and it was Michael McGill's chicken fried rice. Due to some confusion on who the winner was he didn't realize that he had that he won.

"I was like well, at least I had fun," he said. "All that matters is that I had fun."

McGill said his favorite part of the competition was "all of it."

McGill is now going to submit his recipe for regionals, where a professional chef will recreate his meal for a panel of judges.

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