Updates from Johnson County Community College: Culinary Program brings the heat

JCCC’s Wylie Hospitality and Culinary Academy

At Johnson County Community College, we take pride in preparing students for the workforce through our many degree and certificate options. Our Hospitality and Culinary Arts program offers renowned instruction and produces career-ready professionals in two years or less.

5th Annual High School Culinary Competition
We recently hosted 15 teams from across the region at the fifth annual High School Culinary Competition. These aspiring chefs spent months preparing to wow judges with their carefully planned menus and exceptional culinary skills.

Each team’s menu included a starter, entree with protein, vegetable, starch and dessert. Local chefs and industry professionals comprised the judging panel who not only critiqued presentation and flavor, but also essential culinary knowledge and basic kitchen skills.

High school students representing the Kansas City Kansas Community College Technical Education Center took home “Best in Show” with the highest overall score for their three-course meal. Each member received a $1,000 scholarship toward future enrollment in the JCCC Hospitality & Culinary Arts program.

Second place winners from the Raytown Herndon Career Center received a $500 JCCC scholarship. Additional prizes from generous local sponsors included knife sets, kitchen tools and gift baskets, and ensured no team left empty-handed.

“The level of execution from high school culinary students is becoming more elevated each year we host this competition; this year was no exception. We always welcome the opportunity for talented students to elevate their skills at a higher level in our facility,” said Jerry Marcellus, JCCC Hospitality Management Professor.

We’re Headed to the Olympics!
The 2020 Culinary Olympics, that is! After earning the prestigious title of the ACF Culinary Youth Team USA 2020, JCCC’s crew will proudly represent the ACF (American Culinary Federation), the United States and young chefs around the country at this worldwide event.

“Johnson County Community College and the culinary team here are very proud to get the chance to represent all the junior culinarians across the country. We will work hard to represent the country as other team have in the past,” said Edward Adel, JCCC Hospitality Management Associate Professor and ACF Culinary Youth Team USA coach.

JCCC’s ACF Culinary Youth Team USA 2020

The Culinary Olympics kicked off on Feb. 14 and runs through Feb. 19 in Stuttgart, Germany. The JCCC team held weekly practices and frequently worked with master chefs and national coaches to fine-tune their skills. At the competition, teams will be tasked with creating:

  • A three-course meal for a party of 60 people.
  • A buffet spread for a party of 12 people with cold and warm finger food, a hot main dish, seafood, game and desserts.

Earning a spot on the Olympic team requires commitment and drive on top of an already intense coursework schedule. Chef Apprenticeship students are enrolled full-time and typically work 40 hours per week on top of their team duties!

Stay on the Cutting Edge
Want to keep up with Team USA 2020 throughout their Olympic journey? Follow them on Instagram! If you’re interested in tuning into the big event, a live stream will be available.