Cypress Springs team wins cooking challenge on Fox TV show

June 10, 2017

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Chef Gordon Ramsay, center, congratulates Cypress Springs High School staff members (from left) Dr. Cheryl Henry, principal; Sam Lopez, culinary teacher; Andrea Lagard, associate principal; and Clay Smith, assistant principal; for winning the weekly challenge of his cooking competition, The F Word, which aired June 7 on Fox. (Photo courtesy Fox)

June 10, 2017—Team “School Pride,” featuring staff and administrators from Cypress Springs High School, won the cooking challenge on the June 7 episode of Chef Gordon Ramsay’s new food show, The F Word.

“School Pride,” consisting of Cypress Springs staff Dr. Cheryl Henry, principal; Andrea Lagard, associate principal; Clay Smith, assistant principal; and Sam Lopez, culinary teacher, defeated The Cooking Cubans in the live challenge.  

The two teams worked in an open kitchen and had an hour to prepare a complete dish and serve it to a dining room full of guests. Diners decided whether they would pay for their meal if it were served in a real restaurant. The menu for the evening was pan-seared pork chop with mustard grain sauce and caramelized apples served on a bed of braised cabbage and mashed potatoes.

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Team “School Pride” of Cypress Springs High School walks toward the studio to film their weekly challenge of Gordon Ramsay’s cooking show on Fox, The F Word. (Photo courtesy Fox)

The Panther staff members practiced cooking the dish the day before the taping, building their camaraderie along the way.

“It was emphasized that even though we were on a television show, we were cooking for a real restaurant and the food needed to be delicious,” said Dr. Cheryl Henry, Cypress Springs principal. “We have all worked together before, but we really were able to bond as a team and depend upon each other throughout the process. While there, we ate every meal together, prayed together and always looked forward to completing the meal service successfully.”

By the end of the fast-paced taping, “School Pride” was declared the winner, with more diners willing to pay for their meal.

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Team “School Pride” of Cypress Springs High School points out where their photo will appear after winning the second of 10 cooking challenges on the Fox cooking show, The F Word

“We never thought we'd actually make it on the show, but once we were there, we were in it to win it,” Dr. Henry said. “The time in the kitchen went by so fast, once we got our rhythm, we couldn't believe it was over. At the end when he announced the winner, we were overjoyed!”

“School Pride” was the second winning team in the 10-week competition. Following the 10 challenges, Chef Ramsay will pick the top two teams to compete in the finale for the $100,000 grand prize. Cypress Springs is hoping to win the prize money in order to fund the remainder of its 20th anniversary Panther statue.

“We want to thank Gordon Ramsay and all the producers who worked hard to make sure we felt comfortable throughout the process. We are especially thankful to the Cypress community, CFISD and the staff and students at Cypress Springs High School for all their support,” Dr. Henry said. “This has been an amazing journey and we are hopeful to make it to the finale so we can ensure that our 20th anniversary celebration includes the unveiling of our Panther statue, Legacy, named by the Class of 2017.”

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