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Food Prep Gets Competitive For RHS Students
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Riverbank High School culinary student Arturo Guzman was preparing for competition at the 34th Annual Stanislaus County Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition.
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This is one of the salads that were presented at the competition by the Riverbank High culinary students.
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Instructor Emily Cowdrey and six culinary students competed recently in the 34th Annual Stanislaus County Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition.

Riverbank High School culinary students demonstrated some of their skills at the 34th Annual Stanislaus County Occupational Olympics and Career Exposition that was held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds on Thursday, March 21. Instructor Emily Cowdrey took six students: Michayla Brown, Esmeralda Carrillo Felix, Anthony Dominguez, Arturo Guzman, Guadalupe Ruiz, and Daniel Ruiz-Vigil, to the expo.

The competition held events in various career areas like Ag Engineering/Construction Trades, Automotive Technology, Criminal Justice, Fashion Design, Medical Occupations, Robotics, and Salad Prep and Display. The purpose of the competition is to bring awareness of the importance of academics and careers and recognizing the students that shine with certain skills and knowledge for success within a certain career.

The culinary students competed in Salad Prep and Display along with approximately 54 other students from seven other high schools in Stanislaus County. The students were evaluated on their information sheet, sanitation and personal appearance, taste and texture, table setting and display, general appearance and suitability, and attractiveness and neatness.

In the top eight were Ruiz and Ruiz-Vigil. Ruiz-Vigil also received a ribbon.

“I thought it was really fun,” added Cowdrey. “It showcased the students’ knife skills, time management, safety and sanitation and presentation skills.”

There were two judges that evaluated the table display and salads. The salads had to be flavorful and nutritious. The tables had a theme with an individual table setting, table cover, and centerpiece that complemented the salad.

The students had 30 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to plate their salad and present it.

“My students did great,” stated Cowdrey. “They scored pretty high on their scoring sheets. The students had fun and want to do it again next year. Overall we had a good time and it was a great experience for the students.”

According to the Stanislaus County Office of Education there were approximately 770 students from Stanislaus County high schools participating in 19 competitive events. In addition to the competitive events, 62 business/industry representatives exhibited and spoke to students during the Career Expo.