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Francis Howell chefs compete

Francis Howell Union placed first in the district’s recent Iron Chef/Culinary Throw-Down. [FHSD photo]

High schools in the Francis Howell School District had the opportunity to compete against each other in a variety of contests in the past year, including a recent cooking competition. 

The Francis Howell School District Iron Chef/Culinary Throw-Down is an annual event that gives students the opportunity to practice their cooking skills in a real-world setting. Each team is given an hour to prepare a meal which will feed over 100 guests and impress the celebrity chef judges. 

“I think if they are going to seriously consider a culinary career or a career in the restaurant business, this is a really great foundation for them,” Carl McConnell, owner and executive chef at Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville, said. “They have to deal with a lot of pressure and timelines.”

McConnell served as a guest judge for the event.

“I really had to pace myself and think through which part needed to be done at a certain time,” Francis Howell North senior Cami Gonzalez said.

The competition between the schools was intense but friendly. The schools helped each other out as they shared kitchen tools and equipment. 

“This experience has taught me about teamwork, not just with my own group, but also with others,” Francis Howell Central senior Marie Cook said. “There were points where I was helping out North and they were helping me out because the burner wasn’t working.”

After a close competition, Francis Howell Union took home the first-place prize, as well as the chef’s choice award.

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