The hot pad gloves will come off when Culinary Arts teams from Texas State Technical College and South Texas College knuckle down for Iron Chef-style competition at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 24.
The clash of the colleges will be a preliminary promotion for the Appetite For Education Cook-off, sanctioned by the International Bar-B-Que Cookers Association, designed to raise scholarship funds for STC students. The main event will be held July 25 at Dodge Arena. Several professional and amateur teams from across Texas are expected to sign up for the Appetite For Education Cook-off.
Photo: Culinary Arts students from South Texas College, left, and Texas State Technical College Harlingen will test their grilling aptitude during a special competition at Dodge Arena in Hidalgo on July 24.
Each team from the respective colleges will have five students. Captain Andrew Moreno, Cuca Torres, Marco Berardi, Ivan Constante and Cesar Delgado will represent TSTC Harlingen. Captain Francis Gonzales, Jennifer Martinez, Sonia H. Silva, Clare De Leon and Ian Chestnut will represent STC.
TSTC Culinary Arts Teaching Lab Assistant Victor Loya invited students and employees to cheer on the Mustangs. There will be no free food or samples provided to the public at Friday’s competition, but the winning team will take home the traveling trophy for what could become an annual match-up.
“This will be fun for both colleges,” said STC Culinary Arts Instructor Paul Wendland. “It will give both colleges a lot of credit for their excellent programs. The recognition goes to the students who will step into the spotlight.”
The collegiate competition officially will begin when each team receives its ingredients at 5 p.m. July 24. Teams will not receive assistance from faculty during the event.
Five judges – including guest celebrity judge and KRGV-TV Newschannel 5 anchor Dina Herrera Garza – should reach a final decision at 7 p.m. followed by a presentation of the cuisine at 7:30 p.m., according to the preliminary schedule.
“We’re going to practice two or three times each week for whatever foods we might have to prepare on the grill. Our practice time will be crucial,” Moreno said. “We want to start this competition with us getting the trophy and gain recognition for the hard work we do at TSTC.”
Teams interested in registering for the Appetite For Education Cook-off should call 956.445.2542 or 956.872.2265, or go online to www.southtexascollege.edu/cookoff. Registration at Dodge Arena will be held from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 24.
Sponsors for the July 25 event include Security First Credit Union, The Dorados, Shell Oil Co., the City of Hidalgo, Dodge Arena, the South Padre Island Bike Fest, Rio Grande Valley Harley Davidson, Harley owners groups, Team McAllen Cycling and Bud Light.