Archives for posts with tag: OCPS orange county public schools

Top Chef Santa. See the cleaver in his hand?

Edible centerpieces are 3-D works of artistic skill that can showcase an event’s theme, decorate a simply clad table, or in the case of the Orange County (FL) public high school and vocational tech students, it can be the recognition that their creativity, knife cuts, and timed artworks merited their focused concentration.

I’ve lost track of how many years I have had the privilege to judge Orange County (FL) Public School’s Annual Hospitality and Culinary Competition, hosted each December at the Orlando World Center Marriott, but I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for what each Read the rest of this entry »

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Two little apple lovebirds sitting in a  watermelon of love. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Two little apple lovebirds sitting in a watermelon of love. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Chef demo of making a Christmas tree completely of chocolate, including the glittery balls. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Chef demo of making a Christmas tree completely of chocolate, including the glittery balls. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Sea life centerpiece. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Sea life centerpiece. photo by Karen Kuzsel

Oh, and while you’re at it, do it within a specified time limit under the watchful eyes of judging chefs and other culinary world volunteers who are making sure you’re following the guidelines set forth in the Orange County Public Schools Annual Hospitality and Culinary Competition. After all, with 220 competitors registered for the hospitality or culinary portion of this 5th annual competition, each student will want to showcase his or her specialized skills for the maximum benefit.

As one of the judges who has watched this competition grow each year, I am in awe of the talent and training our future hospitality and culinary staff are receiving. Sure, they’re competing for trophies and awards that honor their school program as well as their own abilities, but what’s at stake could also be scholarships to college programs. The first year I judged, I tasted about 20 desserts beginning at 10 am. Let’s just say I was happily shifted, and where I’ve remained each year, to judging the final presentation of edible centerpieces. I watch them carve fruits, craft shapes and create vignettes from apples Read the rest of this entry »

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