GLASGOW — Barren County High School students Junita Grinter, Mackenzie Taylor and Katrina Gold aspire to go to culinary school, and they’ll get a chance soon to earn a scholarship to do just that.
In the meantime, having a regional championship already under their apron belts, the girls honed their demonstration skills Saturday at the Farm to Fork Barren County Ag Festival in their BCHS home court. As they prepared cupcake-shaped Fruity Frittatas, James Comer, Kentucky agriculture commissioner, stopped in for a visit with them.
As the team continued working, Comer stepped aside and explained the Kentucky Proud Junior Chef Competition. Every high school in the state was invited to participate by selecting and sending a team to a regional contest for starters, and Barren County’s trio won for Region 4. The Sweet 16 teams from those championships will go compete statewide at the Kentucky State Fair, which begins Aug. 15.
The dishes must be prepared with only Kentucky Proud products, and the frittatas contained cheddar cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, bacon from Moore’s Country Sausage, milk from Chaney’s Dairy Barn and eggs from Growing Boys Farm.
Each state champion teammate will get a $6,000 scholarship for Sullivan University’s Culinary Arts program, and their textbooks will be covered by Wiley Books, Comer said.
“It’s a really good deal. It’s the first year we ever had it, so I wanted to stop by and say congratulations to the Barren County team,” he said.
Besides culinary skills, this competition also teaches them the value of buying fresh, local products, he said. In fact, as part of their presentation, the teams have to discuss the farm products they are using.
Next up in the demonstration lineup was Gabe Esters, of Esters Farm Baked Goods, who provided a secondary use of the quick breads he makes – like cranberry-pineapple – as a base for a Sweet and Savory Breakfast Casserole. He said just about any of the variation on the bread can be used.