Culinary arts students win team competition

Five culinary students at Western Colorado Community College in Grand Junction won the American Culinary Federation Colorado student team competition.

The WCCC team features Vaughn Fetterley, Kevin Klepzig and George McLennan of Grand Junction as well as Sandra Veitch of California and Arti Lousiana from the Fiji Islands.

The team will move on to the AFC western region competition scheduled for Feb. 5 and 7 in Nevada. The national competition is set for July in Arizona.

“The culinary competition is a great experience for students because it is a complete distillation of all the skills they need to be a successful chef. It goes far beyond cooking,” said Wayne Smith, a culinary arts professor at WCCC who coaches the team.

The first part of the competition tested students’ abilities in meat and vegetable cuts and pastry skills in an 80-minute relay. The second part of the event challenged students to prepare a four-course meal for four. While all of the teams were required to prepare the same chicken entree, they were free to select and prepare their own dishes for the other courses.

In addition to the team from WCCC, the Nov. 21 competition at WCCC included teams from the Art Institute of Colorado, Colorado Mountain College-Keystone and Pueblo Community College.