Culinary Student Profile - San Diego Union-Tribune

 

 

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MEET THE FIRST HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES BORN TO THE NEW MILLENNIUM

June 10, 2018 – By DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNAN

THE CHEF

Antonio Blas, 17, a graduating senior at Vista High School, became intrigued by cooking as a child as he helped his mother prepare meals. He competed on the school’s culinary team and helped run the “Panther Café,” where students prepare and sell meals for staff. He was named culinary student of the year and also career technical student of the year for what instructor Chef Kim Plunkett calls his “quiet leadership and outstanding knife skills.” He plans to work in a restaurant after graduation, and then attend the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California, San Diego.

What was the most important thing you learned in high school?Something I learned in high school was teamwork, working with others. Since we’re in groups, and each person has to do something to contribute to a dish, the final thing you make comes out better when you do it with other people than when you do it by yourself.

What was your most meaningful accomplishment? Our competition team had to plate three dishes in under an hour with four people. And at the Panther Cafe, I was a line cook, and I learned how to plate and give a better presentation. It gives you a little glimpse into a restaurant and how it works.

What are your hopes and concerns? My hope is that more people use food as a way to come together, instead of separate. Just to show them that we’re not really different. Most people use the same spices, but just change it a little. I see food as a forum to bring people together, and give a taste of other people’s cultures.

The full article including a short video of Antonio is available on the San Diego Union-Tribune website.

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