PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The competition was intense for 19 area high school chefs who whisked and sauteed Tuesday morning, with culinary school scholarships on the line.

These young chefs had two hours in the kitchen at the Art Institute of Philadelphia to create two dishes from memory: Poulet chasseur (that’s chicken in brown sauce) with tournee potatoes, and crepes with pastry cream and chocolate sauce.

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James Meitzler, a senior at the Western Montgomery County Career and Technology Center, says the urgency matches a real kitchen.

“It’s taught me how to deal with a lot of pressure and how to really get stuff done,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

No pressure for Dobbins Avt High School senior Abria Goldsmith.

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“The first time when I passed preliminaries, I was very nervous,” she explained. “My hands were shaking.”

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But now.

“Right now, easy breeze singing in my head,” she said. “Everything’s fine.”

The culinary scholarships are offered through Careers through Culinary Arts, a non-profit where Karen Brosius is president.

“It’s not about necessarily matching money with the most well-performing students,” she explained. “It’s about what’s best for the student.”

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Local chefs judged the final plates for taste and presentation. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on April 3.

Credit: Mike DeNardo