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BBQ and ProStart team gear up for competitions on Saturday, May 4, 2024
Posted in on May 2, 2024

BBQ team taking on rivals at state

Ribs, brisket and chicken are just a few of the categories Arlington ISD’s Smokin’ Ferrets will be competing in when they go to the HSBBQ state competition on Saturday.

With over $30,000 worth of scholarships on the line, it’s no wonder the Ferrets – Arlington ISD’s Career and Technical Center BBQ team – are excited to hit the road.

CTC's BBQ team, Smokin' FerretsWith a call time of 3 a.m. on May 4, the Ferret’s will prep, load and drive to Round Rock to compete against more than 90 schools. Each team member will be vital to the team’s overall success.

“Mansfield ISD, Southlake ISD and Prosper ISD are our fiercest competitors,” said Marc Fidel, the Ferrets captain. “We’re so excited to compete. I’m sure they will bring it, but it will all be in good fun. We are looking forward to the friendly competition.”

The Ferrets’ leader, culinary teacher Greg Almendarez, has worked throughout the year to ensure the students will be prepared for state. After various workshops, drills and mentoring, he’s confident the students will do great in the competition.

“I’m so proud of this team and how hard they have worked throughout the year,” Almendarez said. “To have the opportunity to compete at state is the icing on the cake.”

ProStart team preparing for Taste of Cowboys Youth Challenge

Arlington ISD’s ProStart team is also gearing up for an intense culinary showdown this Saturday.

“ProStart is a career and technical education program that bridges the gap between the foodservice industry and the classroom,” said Greg Almendarez, who also leads the ProStart team.

The ProStart team of students from the district’s Career and Technical Center includes Kim N., Daren S., Jeffery D., and John T. (J.P.) and is set to compete in the ” Taste of the Cowboys Youth Challenge” at AT&T Stadium on May 4. Each team will have 60 minutes to craft a three-course meal using fresh and canned produce generously provided by the North Texas Food Bank.

The prize is $10,000 to be shared among the victorious team members.

Daren and Jeffery, who both have aspirations to excel in the culinary world, shoulder significant responsibilities on the team. Daren handles the appetizer and Jeffery focuses on the entree. Both hope to continue their culinary education at the Culinary Institute of New York City after high school.

“I want to eventually be a business owner,” said Daren. “ProStart gives me a head start toward my dreams. It’s been a lot of fun working with the team.”

Kim and J.P. also have big culinary goals.

“I’m excited to be in charge of desserts,” Kim said. “I thrive under the pressure of competition. It brings out the best in me.”

For J.P., cooking with the ProStart team evokes cherished memories of learning from his grandmother.

“Cooking with my ProStart team is a blast,” said J.P. “My passion for cooking stems from my grandmother’s influence. Breakfast with my family is always a joyous occasion.”

Arlington ISD Culinary

To learn more about the CTC’s culinary program and curriculum click here. You can also stay in the loop on all upcoming events by following @dipert_bistro_at_ctc on Instagram.