Student chefs nab top awards at area culinary competitions

Posted: April 14, 2016

Students in Bates Technical College’s Culinary Arts program have been busy racking up awards at two regional competitions.

The first competition brought a group of six students, along with chef instructors Richard Houle, JJ Meland and Roger Knapp, to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for the Washington Army National Guard culinary arts competition on Friday, March 18.

In the college category, Bates teams took home first and second place awards for their top sirloin steak dinner and German chocolate cake.

The judges evaluated the meal for presentation, taste, food safety, the ability to produce the meal for $4.18, and the tactics used to keep the price low.

Team members Guy Apo, Jackson Lozier, Joe Martinez, Jeanette Harder, Austin Clowers, Nick Hernandez and Jacob Rowley crafted their dishes based on the scenario that they needed to feed 100 customers with a budget of just $4.18 per person. The teams presented to the competition committee on how, given the above scenario, they would have purchased the needed ingredients in the open market to prepare the meal within budget.

A group of seven students nabbed the first-place prize in the Bite of Apprentice, held at Renton Technical College on April 11, and sponsored by the American Culinary Federation’s Washington State Chef’s Association.

With a winning dish of Kalbi beef short ribs topped with wasabi sesame seeds, served with pecan-walnut chocolate ganache tartlets, students Kyle McGaffie, Brendan Drew, Guy Apo, Joe Martinez, Jeanette Harder, Jacob Rowley and Claira Gause beat out the competition, which included culinary programs at Bellingham Technical College, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Olympic College, and Renton Technical College’s culinary arts, baking/pastry and catering programs.

Bates Technical College’s Culinary Arts program is Pierce County’s only American Culinary Federation-accredited culinary education program. To learn more about Culinary Arts at Bates, go to, or call 253.680.7000.

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