by Samuel Santiago

Do you like to cook? Do you want to become a chef?  Then Clemente’s Culinary Arts Program is for you! Our Wildcats participate in a program called Careers Through Culinary Arts Program(C-CAP). This program provides them with job training and internships, teacher training, curriculum enrichment, college advising, life-time career support, and culinary scholarships.

One of the perks of being in C-CAP is the competitions/scholarships that our students are allowed to participate in and apply for on a yearly basis. Some of Clemente’s juniors and seniors will be participating in an upcoming, all-city culinary competition/scholarship opportunity.  Our juniors are competing to win free cooking courses at different colleges this summer and our seniors are competing to win scholarships for college.

This is a great opportunity for our Wildcats because they are not only able to display their culinary talents, but at the same time receive free money for the next phase in their academic and culinary journeys.  Our Wildcats are competing for scholarships ranging from $1,000 – $105,800. This scholarship has rigorous requirements including 2.5 GPA, taken the ACT exam, taken a culinary course, and receive two letters of recommendation from their teachers/mentors; one from their chef mentor and the other from a teacher of choice.

To get ready for the competition/scholarship opportunity, our Wildcats will practice knife skills and culinary techniques.  They will have to make French omelets, display two different types of knife cuts and create a cucumber bowl salad.   The judging will be based on their knife cuts, food waste, cooking techniques, and presentation. They will have one hour and thirty minutes to prepare and plate their creations. That is a lot of work for our Wildcats, but they are definitely looking forward to the challenge and winning.

Our Wildcat parents and chef mentors will be allowed to support our students throughout the scholarship/competition.  They will be able watch them through a window and cheer them on.  After our students compete, they will be notified within two days of the competition if they are moving on to the final round. Only 20 student are allowed to move on to the last round.  Our students are anxious to show off their culinary talents, win money for next year and represent Clemente in the upcoming competition.  Congratulations to Samuel Santiago who won a position to the C-CAP finals this spring!