St. Johnsbury Academy's team captured first place in the fourth annual Vermont Culinary Classic held Nov. 18 at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier.
The event is open students enrolled in all Vermont high school culinary arts programs, challenging them to prepare a three-course meal consisting of designated menu items in 90 minutes. Judging criteria include organization, sanitation, cooking technique, presentation and taste.
Representing the Academy in the school's first appearance at the contest, seniors Faith Phillips of Peacham, Brittany Berwick from Barnet and Tyler Newell of St. Johnsbury earned the state crown after defeating three-time champion Green Mountain Technology and Career Center, located in Hyde Park, and eight other teams.
Chef instructor David Hale marveled at the energy and care level of his team.
"All three members of this team were heavily involved in senior Capstone research projects, Academy Theatre productions and benefit dinners leading up to the competition, yet they found the time to practice hard and focus on the critical aspects of professional cooking and teamwork," he said. "They have set a standard for their classmates and all the culinary students who follow."
All three students were awarded a $4,000 scholarship, professional knife set, chef coat, and other gear.