OWOSSO HIGH SCHOOL Culinary Arts students (from left) Raven Seidelman, TJ Bishop and Payton Tyrell can be seen creating cucumber ribbons during the 2nd annual Culinary Arts Competition on Wednesday, April 11. They created (dish “B”) Tilapia en Papillotte (fish fillet, veggies, and seasonings all baked together in an artfully folded piece of parchment paper), sautéed asparagus with garlic, and fried rice with egg. They made a sweet and spicy chili sauce for the fish.

  For winning first place, the students will get the opportunity to work with the staff at Wrought Iron Grill to design an entrée for the WIG menu. They also received a scholarship from Mott Community College.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)


by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

The Owosso High School Culinary Arts program held its 2nd annual culinary competition on Wednesday, April 11, with some impressive prizes up for grabs. For the second year in a row, the winning team will design an entrée to be temporarily featured on the menu at the Wrought Iron Grill. And for the first time, the winning team received a $1,000 scholarship from Mott Community College.

To begin the contest, Chef Hannah Poyner revealed the three core ingredients – tilapia, asparagus and rice – that would be used by each team. The students then sprang into action, using additional ingredients to create their masterpieces in approximately one hour and 30 minutes.

The judges for this year’s competition were John Lowman, the owner of Wrought Iron Grill; Shiawassee RESD Director Lori Johnson; and Dianne Rodgers, the owner of D’Mar Banquet & Conference Center. They mostly observed the students from the front of the classroom, on their side of Chef Poyner’s blue safety line, before taking their seats in the judging area to complete their duties.

The contest was held in the OHS Culinary Arts kitchen, which is a classroom that has been transformed into a full kitchen, complete with a large refrigeration and pantry area, a three-compartment sink, metal prep tables and all the necessary cooking utensils and equipment.

In its fourth year, the OHS Culinary Arts program has come a long way. The program began in an old home economics classroom at Owosso High School, before Lori Johnson and the RESD helped Chef Poyner acquire grant funding to purchase the aforementioned kitchen supplies.

The wildly popular two-year program accommodates 120 students, and there is a long waiting list of interested students. Students learn “back of the house” techniques in the kitchen, and this year Chef Poyner and her students have added a café in the adjoining Culinary Arts classroom, where students learn “front of the house” operations.

Owosso’s Budding Culinary Artists Demonstrate Their Skills was last modified: April 16th, 2018 by Karen Elford