Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Top Chef Challenge provides scholarship opportunities to East Lee County students

March 20, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Three East Lee County High School students will participate in the first Top Chef Challenge to earn scholarship money, provided by the Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce.

Ed Moore, Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce past president said, last October, late September, he met with East Lee County High School Assistant Principal Karen Blaze. He shared that the Chamber had some scholarship money that it needed to give away.

Rather than having students write a report, Moore presented an idea that would showcase the school's culinary department.

Article Photos

Tori McNear


"No one knows that East Lee County has a culinary program," Moore said. "The board felt this was a good use of our education fund because it will help them get into their culinary school of their choice."

After further discussion he found out that the teacher, Arthur Phillips, was a chef for 25 years at private country clubs before becoming a culinary instructor at East Lee County High School three years ago.

Moore suggested that they have a runoff with their culinary students to narrow it down to the top three contestants to participate in the Top Chef Challenge to win scholarship money. The students have been competing for the competition since September.

"We are going to have seven different judges," Moore said of the April 2 challenge.

The students competing in the challenge include seniors Tori McNear, Virginia Reyes, and Caricia Rodriguez, all of whom have been involved in the school's culinary arts program for three years.

McNear plans to attend college where she wants to major in management with a culinary minor degree. She wants to use those degrees to become a catering coordinator, as well as work in marketing with a catering business.

Reyes plans on becoming a pastry chef and Rodriguez's goal is to attend Florida Gulf Coast University to major in hospitality management to fulfill her dream of opening her own restaurant.

The students will be given a mystery basket where they have to create an entre and desert during the Top Chef Challenge. Moore said the ingredients will be a surprise, which he thinks is "just awesome."

"I have worked it out that Healthy Harvest Farms is a sponsor," he said. "Part of the money they donated is going towards purchasing some of the food that the chefs will need to prepare these meals. They are going to donate whatever vegetables from the farm that they have at that point in time."

The third place winner will receive $500, second place $750 and the first place winner will receive a $1,250 scholarship.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web