By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A dozen Philadelphia high school students were in the kitchen today, part of an annual competition to earn college scholarships.

At Drexel University today, they had a two-hour time limit to cook a two-course French meal, a chicken dish, and a crêpe dish for judges from the Union League, the Four Seasons, and other top restaurants.

“Some of these kids cook day and night for months and months, getting ready for this,” says Chef Wilhelmina Bell, program coordinator for C-CAP, (Careers through Culinary Arts Program).  “What they’re doing is, they’re trying to fight for their own life — they’re trying to get a scholarship.”

Bell says that C-CAP trains high school students with difficult backgrounds how to work at a high level in the restaurant industry.

The goal of this competition is the scholarships — to the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales, and other culinary arts programs — that will move these students to the next level.

Bernard Lipscom, a Frankford High School senior, talked about growing up without his biological parents, being shuffled from home to home.

“It’s been rough, very rough,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “I had doubts about going to college if I didn’t do the C-CAP competition.  I’m just here to work hard.  The harder you work, the more you can get.”

But it’s not just work in the kitchen that is being looked at.  Program leaders look at student grades and an essay, then interview the hopeful chefs.

The scholarships are awarded May 10th.


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