CULINARY ARTS STUDENTS TAKE TOP HONORS IN THIRD CFISD CUPCAKE BATTLE

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Cy-Fair High School senior Sara Mendez hugs her mother after winning first place in the Advanced Culinary division of the CFISD Cupcake Battle for her black forest cupcake. Mendez won Best Presentation the previous two years before earning first place at the competition, held Jan. 11 at the Berry Center.

Jan. 14, 2019Mia Campos of Cypress Falls High School and Sara Mendez of Cy-Fair High School won first place in their respective competition divisions at the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle, held Jan. 11 at the Berry Center.

The entire competition featured more than 50 entries from 12 CFISD high schools. Industry professionals from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute LeNotre, Acosta Food Service, as well as current and retired culinary teachers from neighboring school districts joined CFISD staff members in serving as judges for the competition. The judges graded the cupcakes for overall taste and design, while other categories included Best Cake, Best Frosting, Unique Flavor, Most Technical Technique and Best Presentation.

Falls High School junior Mia Campos poses next to the KitchenAid mixer and other prizes she won after placing first in the Culinary I division of the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle for her orangedreamsicle cupcake.

Culinary students prepared cupcakes the week leading into the competition at their home campuses and set them up at the Berry Center to be judged. Top-three places were awarded in both the Advanced Culinary Arts (second-year students) and Culinary I categories. Winners received prizes including KitchenAid mixers, cupcake pans, cake decorating kits and other seasonal items donated by partners H-E-B and Randall’s.

Mendez, a senior, placed first in the Advanced Culinary division with her black forest cupcake. Cy-Fair High School junior Noah Jasikfinished second with his carrot cupcake, while Cypress Ridge High School senior Patrick Billette placed third with his Boston cream cupcake.

“It was very unexpected,” Mendez said. “I’ve won presentation awards two years in a row, so this is a big improvement for me. I didn’t think my cupcake would stand out from all the others in the Advanced group that competed.”

Norma Elletson of the Culinary Institute LeNotre was among the judges for the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle, held Jan. 11 at the Berry Center. She was joined by industry professionals from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts and Acosta Food Service, as well as current and retired culinary teachers from neighboring school districts and CFISD staff members. The cupcakes were judged for overall taste and design, while other categories included Best Cake, Best Frosting, Unique Flavor, Most Technical Technique and Best Presentation.

Campos, a junior, placed first in the Culinary I division with her orange dreamsicle cupcake. Cy-Fair sophomore Jasmine Porterfinished second with her Samoa mocha cupcake, while Cypress Ridge junior Brenda Eguizabal placed third with her cinnamon pecan cupcake.

“This is really encouraging,” Campos said. There are a lot of traditional activities and the academics, but these competitions go to show that you can literally do anything you want to do. If you want to be a baker, you can achieve that and this program pushes you to do what you love.”

More than 50 entries comprised the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle, held Jan. 11 at the Berry Center. Competitors in both Culinary I and Advanced Culinary Arts (second-year students) participated in separate categories, with cupcakes judged for overall taste and design in addition to subcategories for best cake and frosting among others.

The following Culinary I students won subcategory awards:

  • Best Cake – Fairrelle Laymon, Cy-Fair (lemon supreme cupcake);
  • Best Frosting – Victoria Jones, Cypress Woods (peanut butter cupcake);
  • Unique flavor – Dalayna Fridge, Cypress Lakes (berry cobbler cupcake);
  • Most Techincal Techinque – Eileen Irvin, Cy-Fair (red velvet cupcake);
  • Best Presentation – Makayla MacPherson, Cypress Ranch (chocolate raspberry cupcake).

“Every year, these students continue to step up their games,” said Mark Williams, career and technical education (CTE) coordinator. “We had 50-plus cupcakes and with the flavors and styles – it was amazing what the kids were able to do. They never cease to amaze me. I’m fortunate to have this group of students and teachers.”

Winners at the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle were (from left) Cypress Ridge junior Brenda Eguizabal (Culinary I division third place); Cypress Woods senior Victoria Jones (best frosting); Cypress Lakes sophomore Dalayna Fridge (unique flavor); Cypress Falls junior Mia Campos (Culinary I division first place); Cypress Ranch junior Makayla MacPherson (best presentation); Cypress Ridge senior Patrick Billette (Advanced Culinary division third place); Cy-Fair sophomore Jasmine Porter (Culinary I division second place); Cy-Fair junior Fairrelle Laymon (best cake); Cy-Fair senior Sara Mendez (Advanced Culinary division first place); Cy-Fair senior Eileen Irvin (most techincal technique); and Cy-Fair junior Noah Jasik(Advanced Culinary division second place).

Cypress Ranch High School junior Makayla MacPherson earned Best Presentation for the chocolate raspberry cupcake display at the third annual CFISD Cupcake Battle.

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