Clyde’s Caliente Cowboys Cook Their Way to Southeast Jr. Chef Competition


The best junior chefs in the state hail from Buncombe County. Clyde’s Caliente Cowboys (and Cowgirl!) student culinary team from Clyde A. Erwin High School won first place in the inaugural North Carolina Jr. Chef Competition.

Team members Jacob Boyd, Lane Worley and Haley Marlowe made a spicy Hot Asheville Chicken and paired it with a fresh farmers market salad. Along with a first-place trophy, the team scored a ticket to Kentucky to represent the state in the Southeast Jr. Chef Competition.

During the cook-off, each team was challenged to prepare, cook and plate their recipes. Each team then presented their dish to be surveyed by a team of judges and student taste tests. Teams were also evaluated and recognized for their ability to work together and ability to develop a recipe, prepare food, and practice organization and public presentation.

A group from Ashe County High School took home a second place trophy for their Chicken Cheese Enchiladas. In Pender County, Topsail High School’s team placed third with a Tropical Chicken Wrap.

Next Up: Southeast Jr. Chef Competition

The Caliente Cowboys will now compete for the opportunity to win a $16,000 scholarship each to the university of their choice as well as a full-ride scholarship to Sullivan University in Kentucky.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched the Southeast Jr. Chef Competition and challenged eight states throughout the Southeast to identify a team of students to represent their state in the competition. North Carolina’s first year of competition was a success and competitors can’t wait for many more to come.

The Southeast Jr. Chef Competition will be held May 9-10 at Sullivan University.

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