Corbin’s Roastin’ Redhounds Junior Chef team will be travelling to Louisville next week as the 2017 Farm to School Junior Chef Competition kicks off at the Kentucky State Fair.
The team of Sarah Sawyers, Ken Trudelle and Makenzie Bellew, is scheduled to compete at 9 a.m. on Aug. 17 in the first of four rounds in the 16-team single-elimination competition.
The “Iron Chef” style competition requires the three-person team to create a unique dish using five locally grown/produced ingredients.
In addition, the dish must meet federal school nutritional guidelines for fat, calorie and sodium contents.
Redhounds Coach Jessica Lester said the team’s dish is Pollo y pavo Fajita flatbread pizza with a homemade pico.
“It is chicken and turkey cooked fajita style with peppers and onions and served on top of a flatbread pizza crust covered in refried beans and topped in mozzarella cheese,” Lester said.
The team has 90 minutes to prepare the recipe as it was submitted and clean up afterwards.
Corbin’s first opponent will be very familiar as the Redhounds take on the Harlan Green Dragons.
The teams competed in the 13th Region Tournament.
“The teams tied and since the scores were the second highest in all of the regions, organizers let both teams advance,” Lester explained. “
As a result, Corbin was placed in the vacant Fourth Region slot.
“It was a region that didn’t have any participants,” Lester said.
The winner of the Corbin/Harlan matchup will return on Aug. 18 to compete against the winner between Boyle County and Pikeville Independent.
The semi-finals and finals will be held Aug. 24 and 25.
Lester said while teams may not change the amount of ingredients in the recipe, they may change the order in which the ingredients are prepared to achieve a better result.
“One of the comments we received in the regional competition was that our pizza was a little bland,” Lester said. “We changed the steps so the meat will marinade longer.”
Lester said having taken previous teams to the state competition, she has tried to prepare her team for the unique environment.
“During the district and region competition, it was quiet and there was nothing to worry about,” Lester explained. “At the state there is a commentator and judges walking around and asking questions. The pressure is a little bit higher.”
Lester said Sawyers has competed at the state competition previously and can help prepare the others.
“I’m just telling them don’t get too stressed out,” Lester said. “Just do what you are supposed to do.”