Getting started on the road to a cooking career just got a lot easier for 28 Los Angeles-area high school students, who won more than $600,000 in scholarships this week in the annual Careers Through Culinary Arts Program competition.
Among the biggest winners were Hoover High School's Hannah Chang, who earned a scholarship to Johnson & Wales University worth more than $100,000, and Manual Arts High School's Jose Gordillo, who won a scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America worth more than $60,000.
Carson High School's Isabel Castro also won the Art Institute's National Scholarship.
The awards were presented by C-CAP director Mitzie Cutler, C-CAP president Susan Robbins and C-CAP founder Richard Grausman at a breakfast ceremony at the Montage Beverly Hills.
The awards are based on several factors, including a cookoff that was held Friday at the kitchen at Los Angeles Mission College, where the students were scored on presentation, knife skills, techniques, taste, safe food handling and timeliness by a panel of local chefs and food experts.
C-CAP, in its 25th year, is a national nonprofit that aims to prepare promising high school students for careers in professional kitchens. Since its birth in 1990, it has awarded more than $43 million in scholarships.