By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a high-stakes cooking competition today at Drexel University among 20 area high schoolers.
It almost looked and sounded like the TV show “Chopped”:
“Five minutes left, please. Five minutes!”
…except these budding chefs are competing for thousands of dollars in scholarships to culinary schools.
They get two hours to prepare a poached chicken dish and crêpes with strawberries.
The competition is sponsored by the nonprofit Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (“C-CAP”), which provides scholarships to at-risk students.
” ‘Chopped’ is great television — it’s sexy and everybody likes watching ‘Chopped,’ ” notes C-CAP president Susan Robbins, “but the students here are very focused.”
Jonnathan Sekel, from the Delaware County Technical School, was one of those focused students. “Two hours to make a poached chicken and a dessert is a lot of time,” he said with an air of calm.
The students are judged on safety, sanitation, knife skills, presentation, and — of course — taste.
The scholarship winners will be announced next month.