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VIDEO: VISTA Academy Students Produce First-Ever Game Show-Style Television Show

Members of Mountain View’s VISTA Academy production crew got a real taste of filming and producing a game show-style cooking competition as part of the District’s inaugural “Cooking Showdown on March 15.

The “Top Chef”-style competition highlighted El Monte Union’s Food Science and Food Service CTE pathways at Rosemead, Mountain View and Arroyo high schools, as well as the VISTA communications and technology program.

VISTA Academy students, equipped with cameras, boom mikes and viewfinders, covered the competition from every angle, occasionally having to duck and cover when a student chef rushed by them to complete a task.

Over the three-hour event, students conducted on-camera interviews with student chefs in the kitchen, judges who waited for the meals to be prepared and the teams as they watched judging take place from a “green room.”

“We thought the Cooking Showdown was an excellent way to have our CTE pathways work collaboratively on a District project,” VISTA Academy teacher John Mann said. “The culinary arts students really wanted to do this, and they feel it is more authentic if they are filmed by their peers. It was a little nerve-wracking but fun. And our kids are learning valuable job skills at the same time.”

VISTA Academy will edit the footage and debut the program on their YouTube channel on May 1, with the winning team announced at the Board of Trustees meeting later that night.