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VIDEO: Arroyo Student Chefs Prepare ‘Arroyo Volcano Power Bowl’ for Cooking Showdown

The clock was ticking down as Arroyo High student chefs worked to plate their gourmet dish as part of El Monte Union’s inaugural Cooking Showdown, a game show-style competition that featured culinary arts students from Arroyo, Mountain View and Rosemead high schools.

The “Top Chef”-style competition, held March 15, aimed to highlight the District’s Food Science and Food Service career technical education pathways, as well as Mountain View’s communications and technology programs.

The six-member teams received mystery baskets containing chicken, sweet potatoes and beets and had 75 minutes to prepare a meal. The students added their own savory touches to the mix, hoping to impress the judges’ panel.

The Knight team, led by senior Jaselyne Ruelas, came up with a dish they called the “Arroyo Volcano Power Bowl,” consisting of teriyaki chicken with fresh ginger soy sauce, served over a bed of lettuce, steamed rice, pureed sweet potatoes, grated beets, roasted bell peppers, seasoned corn, sauteed greens, and peanut sauce topped with crispy fried rice.

“The ingredients were a bit of a challenge, but we responded very well. Our goal is to always include as many vegetables as possible, for nutrition and textures,” Ruelas said. “Our teamwork was top notch, our timing was perfect and we really came together at crunch time. That’s what made it fun.”

The “show” will air on the District’s YouTube channel on May 1, with the winning team announced at the Board of Trustees meeting later that evening.