Culinary competition challenges students to create vegetarian dishes

Fourteen Texas high school culinary teams were challenged to create a vegetarian lunch entree as part of Aramark’s annual Culinary Star Competition.
Culinary students at Northwest Independent School District
Culinary students at Northwest Independent School District won first place with their vegetarian Bolognese pasta. | Photo courtesy of Aramark

Fourteen Texas high school culinary teams traveled to Houston to compete in Aramark’s annual statewide Culinary Star Competition earlier this month.

The theme of this year’s competition was vegetarian lunch entrée. Teams had to create their dish using a pre-determined pantry list and a mystery basket of ingredients which included jackfruit, miso, turnip, adobo, kimchi, kale, heirloom tomatoes and radishes.

The winning dish, created by students at Northwest Independent School District, was a vegetarian Bolognese pasta that featured a tomato-based sauce served over whole wheat pasta.

The judges were also impressed by Pflugerville Independent School District’s Marinated Tofu & Chipotle Crema dish and Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District’s stirfry dish with adobo, jackfruit, kimchi, and radishes. Both teams were honored as runners-up.

“Nothing excites me more than being a part of such an exciting event as our annual Culinary Star Competition,” said Dave Parsonage, regional vice president for Aramark Student Nutrition, in a statement. “This year, the competition was especially fierce, with more than 40 students from across the state battling it out for their team to be recognized as our 2024 champion. We congratulate Northwest ISD's Gourmet Bobcats and express a huge thank you to all of the districts who participated."



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