TC Culinary Arts Students Compete in “Chopped-Style” Competition for Final Exam

Flames leap from skillet

Texarkana College Culinary Arts students will participate in a meal preparation competition where their use of skill, creativity, resourcefulness, and speed of preparation, will be taken into consideration by a panel of judges as a grade for their final exam in the course. Much like the made-for-television competition, “Chopped,” students will be given a box of four items to incorporate into an entrée within a specific timeframe. Students’ dishes will be judged on flavor, presentation, and use of ingredients. TC Culinary instructor, Sheila Lynn, said the competition includes second and third-semester students.

“At the beginning of the week, thirteen students participated in the initial competition,” said Lynn. “Each day, students are judged on their execution of the challenge and several are eliminated. By Thursday, only three students will remain, and the winner of that day’s competition will have to face me on Friday for a final competition. The students take this competition very seriously and the results are so impressive. I am so very proud of what the students have learned and the effort they put into preparing for this event.”

Lynn said that TC’s Culinary Arts program has hosted the event for several years and has garnered the attention of Ricky Tompkins, a partner in the ownership of Walk-Ons, a national restaurant franchise that recently opened a location in Texarkana, TX.

“Mr. Tompkins will join us on Thursday and Friday as a judge for the competition,” said Lynn. “It is a huge honor for him to participate in our competition and it really raises the bar of expectation of excellence for the students. Walk-Ons has been a great partner for our program and has hired several of our graduates. We are so grateful for his support of our students and TC’s Culinary Arts program.”

The competition takes place in TC’s professional kitchen laboratory located inside the Truman Arnold Student Center. The competitions begin at the following times for the remainder of the week:

  • Wednesday, November 4- 10:30 AM- Seven students will compete for three spots for the final round
  • Thursday, November 5 – 10:00 AM- Final Round for Student Championship
  • Friday, November 6- 10:00 AM – Champion Challenge with Chef Lynn

Chef Lynn said the competition is the highlight of the semester and students look forward to the excitement and the challenge.

“TC’s Culinary Arts program prepares students to work as a professional chef and provides hands-on experiences to demonstrate skill and tactics. We are looking forward to a great event and are anticipating spectacular results from our students this year.”

For more information about TC’s Culinary Arts program, visit https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/study/culinary-arts/. TC is now accepting student registration for Spring 2021 enrollment.