Statewide cooking competition kicks off in North Charleston

Statewide cooking competition kicks off in North Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Monday, a statewide cooking contest for high school students kicked off in North Charleston.

Teams prepare for months for the competition, which is split into management and culinary contests.

In the culinary portion, the team of students get an hour to cook three courses: a starter, entree and dessert.

Even before they start cooking they're being judged on everything from cutting techniques to teamwork and, of course, taste. The teams can't use electricity or refrigeration, only Bunsen burners.

Local teams include Burke High School, Wando High School, West Ashley High School and Fort Dorchester High School.

Wando's teacher said they started training back in October, and it's great to see them perform on their own.

"It's amazing," Bill Twaler, Wando's culinary instructor said. "It's absolutely amazing because we can't communicate with them at all while they're competing, so we just step away and watch, and to see them just boom, boom, just clicking and going, it's awesome. I mean it's really heartfelt. It's a really warm feeling inside."

On the management side students pitch ideas for restaurants and food trucks and are graded on their ideas and how well they answer questions about them. Last year, Wando came in first in the state in management and finished fifth in the national competition.