Ready, set, cook

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis High School senior Amanda Sandoval unwraps a chocolate bar to melt for her chocolate covered no-bake cheesecake with berry coulis. Five students in her culinary arts class attended the ProStart New Mexico Invitational competition Wednesday.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

While mincing parsley, Kaylie Kemp never took her eyes off the sharp knife that she moved up and down over the lush greens. But as soon as she was done, her eyes flicked to the clock.

The high school junior had all semester to learn how to cook. Now it was time to practice cooking on a schedule.

Kemp and four students in the culinary class at Clovis High School came to the school last Saturday morning to practice for the ProStart New Mexico State Invitational in Albuquerque.

The competition is an “Iron Chef”-like competition where the teams have to cook a three-course meal in one hour.

Wednesday, the culinary team took third place and the management team took second at the competition. The CHS teams also took home the hospitality trophy for the highest number of overall points.

Teacher Judy Uerling said the students handled the pressure of the competition well.

“I could not be prouder. They more than rose to the occasion. Competition is a strenuous, demanding kind of thing and they were responsible and professional. They’re a terrific group of kids,” she said.