Culinary arts students compete in sixth CFISD Cupcake Battle
Bridgeland High School sophomore Savannah Puente’s enchanted cupcakes won Most Advanced Technique at the sixth annual CFISD High School Cupcake Battle on Jan. 20 at the Berry Center.
Jan. 24, 2022—Cypress Ridge High School junior Manmut Libam-Libock and Cypress Ranch High School sophomore Travis Huggins won first place in their respective competition divisions at the sixth annual CFISD High School Cupcake Battle, held Jan. 20 at the Berry Center.
The competition featured more than 60 entries from all 12 CFISD high schools. Industry professionals, CFISD culinary arts alumni and local bakers joined CFISD staff members in judging this year’s competition. The judges graded the cupcakes for multiple categories, including overall taste and design, Best Cake, Best Frosting, Most Unique Flavor, Most Advanced Technique and Best Presentation.
Cypress Ridge High School junior Manmut Libam-Libock was among the many winners at the sixth annual CFISD High School Cupcake Battle, held Jan. 20 at the Berry Center. Libam-Libock won first place in the Advanced Culinary division, while cupcakes were also judged on best frosting, most unique flavor, most advanced technique and best presentation.
“They get a chance to show off some of the skills they’ve been learning throughout the year,” said Blair Roy-Granger, Jersey Village culinary arts teacher. “So, it’s just really neat to see everyone’s talent.”
During judging, participating culinary students participated in a meringue challenge in addition to a breakout session featuring guest speaker Evelyn Tello, a 2021 Cypress Falls High School graduate and pastry chef. The relay-style challenge featured students carrying eggs in spoons and answering food safety questions before ultimately creating a meringue. Teams from Bridgeland (Session A) and Cypress Ridge (Session B) high schools won their respective challenges.
Students participated in a meringue challenge, a relay-style race that featured participants carrying eggs in spoons and answering food safety questions before ultimately creating a meringue. Teams from Bridgeland and Cypress Ridge high schools won their respective challenges.
Culinary students prepared cupcakes and presentations the week before the competition at their local campuses and set them up at the Berry Center on the day of the competition. The top three places were awarded in both Advanced Culinary Arts (second-year students) and Culinary I. Winners in both divisions received prizes including KitchenAid mixers, decorating kits, baking accessories and gift cards.
Huggins placed first in the Culinary I division, Cy-Fair High School sophomore Felix Ortiz finished second and Cypress Ranch High School sophomore Megan Duharte placed third.
Libam-Libock placed first in the Advanced Culinary, Cypress Woods High School senior Rowan Cecchini finished second and Cypress Springs High School junior Sofia Martinez placed third.
Philippe Dege, a pastry chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute Lenotre, judges cupcakes at the sixth annual CFISD High School Cupcake Battle on Jan. 20 at the Berry Center. Industry professionals, CFISD culinary arts alumni and local bakers joined CFISD staff members in judging the competition. Judges chose the top three overall cupcakes in the Culinary I and Advanced Culinary divisions, in addition to Best Cake, Best Frosting, Most Unique Flavor, Most Advanced Technique and Best Presentation.
“I’m really happy now because I was pretty stressed about my cupcake,” Libam-Libock said. “I took a really big chance and it worked out. And this thing is fun, just being able to see different points of view and get ideas on how I can improve my cupcake from seeing others.”
The following culinary arts students won specialty awards:
- Best Cake – K’Yan Taylor, Cypress Falls;
- Best Frosting – Eva Tzintzun, Cypress Springs;
- Most Unique Cupcake – Adrian Blakaller, Cypress Lakes;
- Most Advanced Technique – Savannah Puente, Bridgeland; and
- Best Presentation – Lyla Isra, Cypress Ranch.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Tami Hunt, Cypress Woods High School culinary arts teacher. “It gives the students a local opportunity to be able to go and create amazing things, be judged and be able to talk to other people about their craft.”
In addition to baking cupcakes, CFISD culinary students were tasked with presenting their cupcakes in unique ways at the sixth annual CFISD High School Cupcake Battle on Jan. 20 at the Berry Center.