Two DAR students won full rides to Jefferson State Community College in last week’s Junior Chef Competition after taking home the state title for their veggie quesadilla recipe.
Juniors Leecia Jackson and Addie Walker, who are FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students at DAR, competed at the state level in the Junior Chef Competitive Event on Friday, Feb. 17, held at Jefferson State Community College Shelby-Hoover campus.
DAR represented the Marshall County School System, competing against three other teams; Albertville City Schools, Troy City Schools and Gulf Shores City Schools. DAR was the only county school to compete.
“This was our first year to compete,” said MCSS Child Nutrition Program Supervisor Casey Partain. “We’ve never sent a team before now because we don’t have a culinary program. We really went in as the underdog, which is why this is such a big deal for us.”
The girls received a full two-year scholarship to Jeff State in the culinary program and they will move on to the Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition, which will be held at Sullivan University in Louisville, KY, on May 11-12; and all expenses paid trip for the state winners, as well as their FCCLA teacher, sponsor and coach Liz Clark.
The winning recipe was a veggie quesadilla made with black beans, corn and locally-grown sweet potatoes.
“It has a really hearty base,” Partain said. “It’s very good. Most people who tried it didn’t realize it didn’t contain meat.”
The DAR team paired the recipe with a “phenomenal” dipping sauce, made with Greek yogurt, chili powder and lime. The lettuce on the plate was grown by DAR ag students, earning the team extra points for including a locally-grown farm-to-table component.
Albertville came in second place in the competition for their pozole soup recipe.
“To have two schools from Marshall County place first and second in the state was exciting,” Partain said.
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