The Grayson College Culinary Department added a new class over the summer in the form of a competition team. This team practices for upcoming culinary competitions, and their first summer as a group was a busy time for them.

From Aug 4-6, the Texas Chefs Association (TCA) held the yearly State Convention in Corpus Christi. For this year’s convention, TCA held a quick fire challenge. This was a competition where the contestants only knew what one ingredient would be. Then, at the start of the challenge, they opened the baskets to reveal the remaining mystery baskets.

For this challenge, the contestants were given shrimp as their known ingredient. The students had to create an entire entrée based around shrimp. The contestants were timed while cutting, preparing and cooking a dish using all the ingredients available.

The GCC Competition Team rolled into the Corpus Christi convention with five team members and instructor, Chef Joanna Bryant. Out of the five team members who competed, three came back to Grayson with medals.

Diana Larkins, president of Top Innovative Professional Service and Spirits, walked away with a gold medal. Wesley Brown took silver, and Lauren Aleman won the bronze.

Even though not all five team members placed, Larkins said she is so proud of the entire group. “The whole team worked really hard for this competition,” Larkins said. “I am extremely proud of them.”

Larkins also said they did extremely well for their first cooking competition. “Every team member, except me, competed for the first time in Corpus Christi,” Larkins stated.

The TCA convention also offered workshops and classes for students and chefs to attend. Classes offered include how to butcher a whole hog and how to make cheese.