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Bryan ISD wins culinary competition at Taste of Aggieland for third year in a row

Posted at 7:19 AM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 08:19:44-04

BRYAN, Texas — Bryan ISD takes home the winning fork for the third year in a row in the Taste of Aggieland student culinary competition.

“It’s just crazy,” culinary student Alex Dubois said. “It really is. We didn’t expect it, but we worked so hard, and we wanted it for sure. We really wanted it.”

Dubois is a senior in the Bryan High culinary program.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” Dubois said. “I’m definitely still way up here with it.”

It's her second year to compete at Taste of Aggieland.

She worked with a team of four other students from Bryan High as well as Chef Blake Zeitman, owner of Zeitman’s Grocery Store in Downtown Bryan.

“We found out we were working with flank steak and we kind of had to think about what kind of flavors and sides would go good to make this a good dish,” Dubois said. 

Dubois and the team took it from a concept.... to real cooking.

“I felt really inspired to do a Mediterranean-style dish," Dubois said. “There’s so many options for color, texture, and everything.”

“Alex had the idea of Mediterranean so of course we were like that’s a great idea, so we hopped on that,” culinary student Mason Hull said.

From there, they decided to pair their dish of flank steak with a blend of Mediterranean sides.

“Pomegranate reduction with it, saffron rice and roasted garlic and red pepper hummus, and homemade pita bread,” Chef Instructor Brad Dees said.

Dubois said effective communication and working together helped fork out a win.

“Lots of brainstorming, teamwork, finding a job for everyone they were interested and good at,” Dubois said.

“They’re judged on their preparation, and they’re judged on their sanitation, their cleanliness, how they work together as a team, the presentation of the dish, and of course, the flavor,” Chef Dees said.

Hull is still motivated by the fork.

“I’ve seen that the day I came in here sophomore year, and I wondered about it,” Hull said. “I asked Chef Dees and he said that’s from our competition, and I was like great, can I be a part of that?”

With the winning fork in hand again, Chef Dees is proud of his students.

“They practiced really hard so to see them finish it and accomplish something like that, it’s awesome,” Chef Dees said.

“I was also really proud of my team because they didn’t do this last year,” Dubois said. “I was the only person who was returning this year, so it was almost inspiring to see the look on everyone’s face and how proud we were of each other.”

Students in the competition received gift cards from Kesco Restaurant Supply to buy new supplies for their school kitchen to whip up more creative dishes.

Along with the Taste of Aggieland, these future chefs also participate in local community events such as wedding cake competitions and the Bryan High BBQ team, as well as have scholarship opportunities through the Brazos Valley Texas Restaurant Association and The Taste of Traditions fundraiser.

The Bryan High BBQ team will head to competition on May 4.