WARSAW — Friday, April 28, at Warsaw Community High School, six culinary students, under the direction of chefs from Bella Vitale Restaurant, Warsaw, participated in a “Chopped” event at the Blue Apron Restaurant, which is located in the Career Center at the high school.
The event was loosely based on the Food Network Channel TV show “Chopped” which features four chefs facing off against one another as they prepare a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert. In each timed round, the contestants have to use all of the ingredients provided to them by the show. At the end of each course, a panel of three guest judges “chops” one chef who fails to measure up in terms of taste, presentation and creativity.
Three teams competed in the WCHS Blue Apron event. Each team was made up of two culinary students from WCHS and a chef from Bella Vitale. The teams planned and prepared meals that were then sampled by guests at the Blue Apron. The guests were asked to vote for the team whose meal they had enjoyed the most.
The winning team was comprised of Olivia Najera and Mauricio Martinez led by Chef Taylor White from Bella Vitale. Winning team members each won a three-piece Henckels knife set.
Blue Apron is a student-run, full service restaurant open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the school year. The students prepare and serve the meals under the instruction of Chef Mark Bragg. These students are receiving both high school and college credit while enrolled in the program.
Chef Bragg’s first sous chef position was at the Barbee Hotel, Warsaw. He later became the executive chef at the Viewpoint Restaurant located in the Ramada Plaza, Warsaw. During his tenure at Viewpoint, Bragg’s team was awarded the Ramada Plaza’s Food and Beverage of the Year distinction for all of North America.
Blue Apron is not just for students, teachers and family members of WCHS students – anyone can eat there. It is open to the public. The menu varies from week to week. Menus can be viewed on the Blue Apron website.
Orders may be placed in advance by contacting Blue Apron via phone or email at 574-371-5074 or [email protected] Reservations may also be made using the same contact information.
“We would like to thank Bella Vitale Owner Peggy Roulo, Executive Chef Blake Elick and Chefs Derrick Gamble and Matt Connett as well,” Bragg stated following the event.
Proceeds from the event will go toward the culinary students’ end of the year field trip.