Taking on the “Eat the Street” theme, Midlothian High School students will soon cook against each other to see whose dish reigns supreme.

Midlothian High will hold the fifth annual Lone Star Chef competition at 11 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Black Box Theater inside the school.

The competition is hosted by Aramark, a third party food provider.

The winning team, each with three to five students, will move on to the regional competition at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Their dish will also be featured on the Midlothian ISD menu for the next academic year, Midlothian ISD Food Service director Peter Pajak said.

“The kids really get into it,” he said.

After their 30 minute cook time, the three to four teams will present their dishes to the judges who will score them based on taste, presentation, level of difficulty, use of the secret ingredient and the nutritional value, Pajak said.

The students do have limitations on the meal they create. They are limited to one starch like tortilla chips or bread, two proteins and unlimited amounts of vegetables, Pajak explained. Moments before the competition a secret ingredient will be presented which the students must use in their dish.

Pajak noted the competition allows the students in the culinary classes a chance to showcase their skills while bringing notoriety to the program.

“We’re in there cook every day, so it’s fun to watch them do a little cooking,” he added.

During the competition, spectators can watch the students cooking like reality cooking shows, Pajak said.

The theme changes every year, and this year’s food truck food theme lets the students get creative because it is broad, Midlothian ISD executive chef Chad Loney said.

This is Loney’s second year working with the competition, and he said the best thing students can do is create original dishes while maintaining flavor.

Competitors should not limit themselves to taste, Loney said. They should also look at incorporating different textures into the food for a well-rounded meal.

“It should be pretty fun,” Pajak said.


Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty