Make no mistake - I cannot, and will never pretend to be able to, cook. My idea of fine dining is successfully bringing a pot of water to boil and not over-or-undercooking the pasta I clumsily pour into it. Past roommates of mine have intentionally disconnected our fire alarm when they know my dinner plans include baked potatoes. I am the twenty-something who calls her mother and asks how to hard boil an egg.
If you find that your kids are somewhat lacking in culinary prowess, like yours truly, never fear; trial by fire does in fact work (sometimes quite literally), and they will somehow learn how to feed themselves when it comes time for them to do so. However, for those of you whose children have a knack with a spatula or a particular passion for pastries, you may want to introduce them to the idea of competing.
Culinary competitions are a great way for kids of all ages to see how they measure up to peers from across the nation and be judged by professional and reputable chefs. Many of these offer scholarships and further culinary training.
I've taken the liberty of whipping up a few upcoming competitions, for your opportunity-hungry teens.
Students can show their culinary skills in teams while working their way from state to national competitions with the American Culinary Federation. All potential competitors must register online before August 30th, 2017.
Chefs de Cuisine Association of California
The Hollywood Open at the Art Institute of California will take place in North Hollywood, California on August 5th and 6th, 2017. Not only do competitors get to walk amongst the rich and famous, they also receive a reduced rate of $75.
American Culinary Federation - Central Florida Chapter
The American Culinary Federation has chapters all over the nation, with annual varieties of cooking competitions for all ages. The Central Florida Chapter's culinary competition will take place in Orlando, Florida from September 10th through 12th, 2017.
American Culinary Federation - Minneapolis Chapter
Saint Paul, Minnesota will host the American Culinary Federation's competition for the Minneapolis Chapter. The event will take place from September 23rd through 24th, 2017.
American Culinary Federation - Greater Baltimore Chapter
Lutherville Timonium, Maryland will set the scene for this ACF competition, which will take place on September 26th and 27th, 2017.
Chefs de Cuisine Association of Saint Louis
Chefs de Cuisine Association of Saint Louis will host a culinary competition in Saint Louis, Missouri from September 30th to October 1st, 2017.
American Culinary Federation - Columbus Chapter
The ACF's Columbus Chapter will host their competition in Columbus, Ohio at the Columbus Culinary Institute. The event will begin at 7 a.m. on October 28th, 2017 and end the following day. Registration begins soon.
To stay tuned to more opportunities as they arise, watch out for any news from the American Culinary Federation (and KudosWall, of course). Many national and regional competitions take place in the beginning of the year, with registration taking place in late 2017.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a pizza to burn.