If you happened to walk by Mrs. Courtney Preston’s Sports Nutrition and Foods & Nutrition classes last week, you may have thought that the Food Network was in town filming a competitive cooking class. Inside her bustling classroom, teams of students were busy cooking meals that fit the theme for imaginary food trucks they created–including a menu, location, slogan, logo and concept. Once teams finished cooking and plating their meals, they served a panel of 10 volunteer judges (e.g., hungry teachers who had a prep period/students who had a study hall) and explained what the concept of their food truck and how the meal fit their theme. As the judges dug into their meals, they evaluated each dish, making notes of what they liked (or disliked) with as much detail as Guy Fieri on an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
As part of the competition, each team also researched government regulations and start-up costs for a food truck business in a specific geographical area and submitted a 3D model of their food trucks, complete with themed interiors that students in the Interior Design & the Home courses designed. They also completed a binder filled with the food truck’s menu, recipes and imagined employee uniforms that students in the Fashion Design & Merchandising courses created. At the end of the competition, teams were selected as winners for preparing the best dish; presentation; menu selection; truck design, logo and slogan; and best overall.
This the sixth year that Mrs. Preston has offered the food truck competition in her classes, which she says is truly a cross-curricular experience involving students who are taking other Family & Consumer Science courses, as well as sometimes involving the Business & Marketing classes, too. “They really enjoy competing against each other, seeing the judges’ reactions and winning them over with their chosen recipes,” she said.
To truly get a taste of the experience, please check out our video to see highlights from one of last week’s classes as they turned up the heat on the friendly competition!