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Student chefs compete for culinary challenge title

Published On: Mar 26 2013 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 06:52:27 AM EDT

Some aspiring culinary masters got a chance to work with top chefs in the Lehigh Valley.

Some aspiring culinary masters got a chance to work with top chefs in the Lehigh Valley.

The Skills USA Culinary Challenge pits five teams against each other to compete for the title of top dish.

They are artists and an empty plate is their canvas.

All of the people working are turning up the heat, at the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute in Schnecksville, Lehigh County.

"We're all doing really intricate dishes," said Chef Daniel Goulet, from the Lord Valley Country Club. "They're different. They are different than what people are serving in restaurants."

Each team is made up of three people: a chef from a local restaurant or business in the Lehigh Valley and two students learning the craft from five local technical schools.

"It kind of gives you a feel of what it's going to be like once you graduate," said Amanda Simmons, a student at Monroe County Technical Institute. "I think that's important, like having to move quickly."

The dishes are all five star quality: smoked chicken tamales in one course and a red beet Carpaccio in another.

"We were exposed to brand new things that we would never have used in the regular kitchen at our school," said Amanda Gould, another student from MCTI. "We used tongue, cow tongue, it was very different."

Each chef gets to come out and introduce their dish to a crowd of 150 people.

After everyone gets a chance to try the five courses, the crowd votes for their favorite dish.

The crowd was impressed with the future chefs of this area.

"What these kids learn here and taking regular foods, like chicken and pork, and doing these things extraordinary with them is really quite a joy and a tribute to the program," said Dudley Mann, a person voting for the best dish.

A tribute to good food and a learning experiment that will last a lifetime.