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School District Five students shine in culinary arts competition

For Immediate Release – February 21, 2020



School District Five students shine in culinary arts competition

IRMO – Two Lexington-Richland School District Five students were named the winners of the South Carolina Farm to School Junior Chef Competition on Feb. 10. 


The competition, hosted by the University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management at the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Culinary Laboratory, featured District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, Charleston County, Greenville County and Horry County School Districts.


Culinary teams consisted of a coach and two to five team members in grades ninth through twelve. Members of the team from the Center for Advanced Technical Studies (The Center) included competition coach Chef Patrick Duggan, Spring Hill High senior Joshua Rose and Chapin High sophomore Syndi Lucsky. 


"We are thrilled that Josh and Sydni placed first in the state in the South Carolina Junior Chef Competition,” said Dr. Al Gates, director of The Center. "Their success in this competition demonstrates both their passion for culinary arts and their dedication to excellence. We wish them the best of luck in the regional Junior Chef Competition.”


To enter, teams submitted a completed application packet along with their recipe and nutritional analysis by October 15, 2019. Submitted applications were then scored on a competitive basis with the highest scoring teams competing for a chance to be the South Carolina Junior Chef Champion. 


School District Five student nutrition director Todd Bedenbaugh was in attendance for the event and was encouraged by the participation and the learning opportunities the competition provided to students. 


“I hope this competition encouraged the students from School District Five and the other districts to engage them to learn about school nutrition and the USDA regulations that we must follow,” said Bedenbaugh. 


Junior Chef recipes must have contained at least five local ingredients, meet National School Lunch Program guidelines, and must be relatively easy for school food service staff to replicate. Recipes were judged by taste, appearance, creativity, best and most use of local ingredients, and appropriateness for school food service systems.


“This competition gives our students the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills in a competitive environment,” said Chef Duggan, culinary arts instructor at The Center. “We are very proud to represent our state and the excellence of technical education in School District Five at the Southeast Region competition in May.” 


The team will travel to Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7-8th to compete in the Southeast Region Farm to School Junior Chef Competition.