Royse City High School senior Lara Pullin kept her cool in a hot kitchen and won the $10,000 first prize in the local Best Teen Chef Competition, held on March 17 in the Culinary Building of The Art Institute of Dallas.

Pullin will participate in the national competition, also being held at The Art Institute of Dallas, on May 5.

Students prepared a menu of shrimp cocktail, sautéed chicken breast, fresh broccoli and rice pilaf. They had 90 minutes to prepare their dishes, and were judged on taste, cleanliness, and “mise en place” (organization, taste and presentation).

Judge (and past local winner) Rachel Fraizer said, “We had an exceptional group of competitors here today. They all did extremely well, but we can only send one to nationals, and Lara showed that she had the talent and focus to succeed in the national event.”

Royse City High expanded its career/technology programs to include culinary arts this school year. Lara came to teacher, Cynthia Howell-Clark and asked to do a special projects class since she was planning to go a culinary school next year for college.

“Lara has done very well in my class and I was excited for her to have this opportunity," Howell-Clark said.

Pullin will join 22 other high school seniors that will travel to the national competition in Dallas. In all, The Art Institutes will award more than $250,000 in tuition scholarships.

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