East Mecklenburg High students swept the top six places in the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools culinary arts competition Jan. 4 at Central Piedmont Community College.
Students from 10 area high schools competed in a timed preparation of a meal. The judges were professional chefs from the area.
John Major placed first, followed by Brian Martinez and Nya Powell. Deysha Creecy placed fourth, John Gamble fifth and Summer Knight sixth. All received gold medals.
Another East Meck student, Taciana Brown, served as an alternate and assistant to the East Meck team.
All of the teams were given three menus for the purpose of practice but did not know until arrival which menu they would prepare. The students prepared caprese salad, tarragon cream chicken, tomato and shallot rice, haricot verts (green beans) with pearl onions, and pear and cranberry crumble.
East Meck students have won gold on a state level and placed in national competitions every year since 2005. In April 2008, Luis Rojas was named National High School Chef of the Year in the dessert category by Johnson & Wales University.
The East Meck team will be culled to three students before going to state competition March 22 at Johnson & Wales.
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