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11 Teams, 22 Chefs:…

11 Teams, 22 Chefs: record number 11 St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition: 10th Anniversary Edition teams announced today
9th Annual Best Tasting Salsa Competition

11 Teams, 22 Chefs: Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition: 10th Anniversary Edition

A record 11 high schools participating in the 2017 St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition: 10th Anniversary Edition, a one-hour judged salsa specialty food contest where the prizes are scholarships to a world-class culinary school for two-person teams of local high school student chefs, were announced today.

The competing teams for 2017 are from Samuel Clemens, La Vernia, Taft, Memorial, Sam Houston, Whitehouse, Floresville, Southside, Steele, Brandeis and East Central high schools. The competition takes place Oct. 11 in a new location---Room 202 of the college’s newly remodeled $11 million Turbon Student Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive.

When Steele, McCollum, Clemens, La Vernia, Sam Houston, Brandeis, Taft and Cole high schools participated in the college's signature Hispanic Heritage Month event in 2016, defending champion Steele came in first, followed very closely by Taft, La Vernia and defending People’s Choice Award recipients Brandeis.

All are welcome to taste-test during the free St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition. What distinguishes the record 22 competing chefs are they are both high school seniors and they are interested in attending St. Philip’s College. What distinguishes the food is that it is from a region where the family and commercial traditions of salsa making extend centuries deep, and new generations create the authentic salsas of the future during the contest. The college’s event is education oriented, open to all and features a mix of college and local chefs as judges. All salsas are entirely prepared in labs at the St. Philip’s College campus on competition day. Intensive preparation time begins at 10 a.m. and table set up from 11-11:20 a.m. precedes the judging and public viewing and sampling that occurs at 12:15 p.m. In the contest area, teams of chefs are judged on presentation, originality, creativity, salsa taste and salsa texture. Scholarship announcements are made for each team member finishing first ($500), second ($500), third ($500) and People’s Choice Award ($500). The public is welcome to visit, taste, cast People’s Choice votes and meet the chefs. The event is typical of the college's engagement with high schoolers in the hospitality professions throughout the year, highlighting the career potential that competition affords future chefs, explained event organizer Frances Rocha, culinary services coordinator at the college.

“It’s hard to believe we started this program in 2007,” Rocha said. “With so many more high school teams in the field for our tenth anniversary program, salsa fans will taste even more salsas. We decided to move the competition to the new building so that our prospective students and the public can see their future college in a whole new way that I am sure they will love,” Rocha said with a smile. (Archival 2017 images of Steele High School at the competition courtesy SPC)

For details on the contest and the results, contact Rocha at (210) 486–2318,

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