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NewsDepth A+: Serving up Success

Sometimes, simple traditions with your family can lead to national recognition and a future career. This is certainly the case for this Lakewood High student studying culinary arts at the West Shore Career-Technical Center in Lakewood. This week’s A+ Award goes to Reagan, who is currently a senior, and recently placed third in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America national competition in San Diego!

Reagan told us that she started cooking with her grandmothers at a young age. Her family used to get together for the holidays in Columbus, because it was halfway between Cleveland and Indiana. During the celebration, she would help out in the kitchen and remembers being inspired by all of the delicious treats. Reagan told us that some of her favorite treats were her grandmother’s cookies and sausage balls, which she described by saying “oh my gosh, they were so good.”

Sounds delicious if you ask me! She also remembers her other grandmother baking black bottom cupcakes with a cream cheese filling. This is making us all ready for lunch, here at NewsDepth headquarters. Reagan’s third place finish is pretty impressive. She had to advance through regional and state competitions just to qualify for nationals where she competed against 76 aspiring chefs. She told us that the judges rated her in a number of categories.

Some of the categories that she was scored on were safety and sanitation, technique, organization, plating, which is what cooks call how the food looks, and of course, taste. We were surprised when she told us that the competitors were required to bring along their own cooking equipment. Luckily, they didn’t have to bring a stove.

Reagan told us that some of the secrets to her success are being prepared, planning for the unexpected, and being ready to adapt and overcome! Reagan’s advisors, Chef Corti and Chef McGorray told us that they’re always impressed with Reagan’s ability to solve problems and think quickly.

This week’s A+ Award goes to Reagan for her award winning cooking, and if you’re wondering, her winning dish was sautéed chicken with fine herb sauce, garlic green beans and rice pilaf.

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.