ECTA Culinary Arts Team Places 1st in “Diced Competition!”


On Tuesday, November 17th, three students from East Tech’s Culinary Arts Program, Efrain Alaniz-Garcia, Jaenah-Marie Guanzon, and Nicole Ibarra traveled to NWCTA with Chef Zdanis to compete against students from other district-wide CCSD Culinary Arts Programs in the annual “Diced Competition,” which is modeled after “Chopped” on the Food Network Channel.


Chefs from local restaurants served as judges for the competition including Chef Barry S. Dakake of N9NE Steakhouse, Chef Leticia Mitchell of Leticia’s Mexican Cocina, Chef Anthony Vidal of Hash House A-Go-Go and Chef Natalie Young of Eat: The Breakfast & Lunch Joint. The chefs shared their personal stories with all of the students and described how they became successful chefs.


During the event the students were surprised with their “mystery” ingredient, which was elk, but fortunately Chef Zdanis taught them how to handle meats such as game so they knew what to do. Chef Zdanis was incredibly proud of his team and had worked with them to train for this event by providing them with scenarios they could encounter and teaching them how to problem solve, which is one of East Tech’s tenets. For winning 1st place Chef Zdanis and his team will be treated to dine at N9NE Steakhouse. Congratulations to Chef Zdanis and his students for an incredible performance and for placing 1st!