High School Teams Compete in BBQ Cookoff

Fort Worth's O.D. Wyatt wins three state categories

Barbecue is a huge deal in Texas and a recent competition put high school culinary teams in the fire.

Teams from the Fort Worth, Mansfield, Richardson and Waxahachie ISDs were among 42 from across the state competing in the third annual State of Texas High School Barbecue Cookoff in Burnett, in the Texas Hill Country.

The high school students were tested in eight food categories: brisket, ribs, chicken, beans, sauce, chef’s choice, dessert and potato salad. And, there was a ninth category for school spirit.

"The students have to come up with their own food items and the mentor/instructor is not allowed in the team's cooking area," said Chef Joel Skipper, the culinary arts instructor at Waxahachie High School. "The cookoff is timed with items being turned in pretty much every hour until four when the brisket is turned in. They certainly have to work as a team to get things done and make sure everything is turned in on time."

Skipper's team calls itself the Smoke Signals and competed for a second year. The 2018 team was picked third best in the ribs category.

"This event is growing and it gets students excited about cooking and having fun doing it," said Skipper.

The team from O.D. Wyatt High School in Fort Worth smoked the competition in three of the nine categories: sauce, potato salad and school spirit.

Chef Alfred "Junior Ramirez" says his team scored big points for their loaded baked potato salad and "our great cheers and funny T-shirt saying, 'F.P.E.F.,' Fat People Eat First."

Ramirez said his students "exemplified great character" during a high-pressure cookoff. "The students at O.D. Wyatt prevailed," said Ramirez.

There was also a contest for Best Student Built Pit, and Ben Barber Innovation Academy in Mansfield took second place.

Chef Mike Erickson, the Culinary Arts Instructor at Burnet High School, hosted the competitition for the third year. His website says "We celebrate the cultural signficance of BBQ and want to encourage the craft for generations to come."

Here are winners of the 2018 cookoff:

OVERALL TEAMS:

GRAND CHAMPION - 1ST PLACE
Sweeney FFA - Sweeny High School

RESERVE CHAMPION - 2ND PLACE
Burnet Culinary UnderDAWGS - Burnet High School

3RD PLACE
Burnet FFA Fired Up and Kickin Ass - Burnet High School

INDIVIDUAL CATEGORIES:

BRISKET
Sweeney FFA - Sweeny ISD / Sweeny High School

RIBS
Sweeney FFA - Sweeny ISD / Sweeny High School

CHICKEN
Burnet Culinary UnderDAWGS - Burnet CISD / Burnet High School

BEANS
Sweeney FFA - Sweeny ISD / Sweeny High School

CHEFS CHOICE
Sweeney FFA - Sweeny ISD / Sweeny High School

DESSERT
Burnet FFA Fired Up and Kickin Ass - Burnet CISD / Burnet High School

SAUCE
Fat People EAT First - Fort Worth ISD / OD Wyatt High School

POTATO SALAD
Fat People Eat First - Fort Worth ISD / OD Wyatt High School

SCHOOL SPIRIT
Fat People Eat First - Fort Worth ISD / OD Wyatt High School

BEST BBQ PIT
1st - Pflugerville ISD /Hendrickson FFA
2nd - Mansfield ISD / Ben Barber Innovation Academy
3rd - Austin ISD / Lanier High School

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