North Charleston— On November 11, West Ashley High seniors Michelle Hammock and Abigail Delgado took 1st and 5th place, respectively, in the Limehouse Produce 2016 Fall Cornucopia Cook-Off. Hammock took 1st place with her Autumn Harvest dessert dish and Delgado took 5th place with her Fall Produce Pizza.
"When I found out that I won I was excited, but also surprised because everyone did really well," Hammock said. Her dish featured a series of desserts including mini pumpkin pie, candied kale, and candied pecans with spiced apples topped with kabocha squash, ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.
"I was so happy for her, considering all the hard work and research she put into her
Autumn Harvest dessert," said West Ashley High Culinary Arts Instructor Chef Jason Wheless. This was Hammock’s second year competing in this competition; she placed second last year. Hammock received $125 courtesy of Teach the Need, a behind-the-scenes tour with Chef Michelle Weaver which includes dinner at Charleston Grill, and she will be featured in a Local Palate magazine ad.
The competition, now in its second year, takes place at Trident Technical College and invites students from culinary arts programs at local high schools to have their students submit recipes featuring fall produce. Finalists from the schools are invited to compete by cooking their dish in front of a panel of esteemed judges.
This year’s panel of judges included Executive Chef Michelle Weaver from Charleston Grill, Post & Courier food reporter and restaurant critic Hanna Raskin, Jamie Vaughn from Limehouse Produce, and Marion Sullivan from the Culinary Institute of Charleston.
This year five students from West Ashley High and Wando High competed. Andrew
Thai placed 2nd, Shannon Lemmon placed 3rd, and Anna Evans placed 4th, all from
Wando High. Abigail Delgado from West Ashley High placed 5th. Delgado’s dish, Fall Produce Pizza, featured pizza made with butternut, apples, and kale. Since coming up with the idea, she has been running her competition pizza as a daily special at The Old Firehouse in Hollywood, where she works as the pizza cook, said Wheless.
Hammock and Delgado have had the opportunity to compete in numerous culinary competitions through the WAHS Culinary Arts Program like the Quest Baking Competition, where Hammock received the Silver medal, and the ProStart Culinary Competition. West Ashley High is currently the State Champion for ProStart and ranked 15th in the nation.
"We are always involved in some sort of competitive event and are currently working on the 2016 - 17 ProStart Culinary and Management Competitions," said Wheless. "We intend to be involved with the FCCLA culinary events this year, and hope to bring home significant scholarships for the culinary students of WAHS."