KANNAPOLIS, NC (WBTV) - Serving a Farmers Market fresh meal, AL Brown High School took the 6th Cabarrus Chef Challenge title, repeating their win from last December.
In one hour, the team of six prepared and served a panel of five judges a play on surf and turf with grilled salmon topped with mango chipotle salsa, roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables with a banana and strawberry frozen yogurt dessert topped with peanut butter and chocolate and a fresh fruit and pretzel garnish.
They were also recognized with a traveling coin from the Concord Police Department.
Serving up second place was Central Cabarrus High School who served a farm fresh variety of chicken and salmon flavored with cilantro, honey and lemon. They included a side of asparagus and whole wheat pasta salad along with a punch made of fresh fruit sweetened with honey.
Both teams competed in preliminary rounds of competition held earlier this week that included culinary teams from Hickory Ridge and Cox Mill High Schools. They entered tonight's competition with no idea of the theme or the food and spices they would have available.
"There was a lot of great flavor work and some technical errors here and there," said Executive Chef John Blumreich with restaurant Forty Six where the competition was held, "but overall I tip my hat to all of you for what you accomplished."
All of the judges complimented the teams on their hard work and successful service, especially with the time constraints. Additional judges were:
Gary Gacek, Chief of the Concord Police Department
Mark Allison, Chef and Director of Culinary Nutrition for Dole Food Company
Megan Lambert, Chef and Senior Instructor, Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte
Dr. William Pilkington, CEO and Executive Director of CHA
Competition Organizer Meghan Charpentier, MPH, MS, nutrition coordinator for event-sponsor Cabarrus Health Alliance, commented, "The communications and teamwork was, by far, the best we've seen of any competition. These students possess confidence in the kitchen a lot of kids today don't have. The support from their teachers and schools has been phenomenal. They've taken what they've learned and applied it successfully."