Josh Brow, a senior at Granada Hills High School, has an uncanny knack for whipping up tasty meals.
The 18-year-old won a $40,000 cooking scholarship recently and in the fall he plans to attend the Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Rhode Island.
"I play all the sports, but the thing I love most is cooking," said Brow, who hopes to become a master chef. "It's the most imaginative of art forms and I think of myself as a culinary artist."
Befitting his passion for cooking, Brow's choice of role model is Cordon Bleu chef Matt Sutton, who is a friend of the family.
"Being that my parents were divorced, [Sutton] is probably the most influential person in my life, father figure-wise," Brow said. "He taught me the basics and, since my mom used to work nights, I had to cook for myself and her, and it just turned into the thing I love to do the most."
Brow won the scholarship as the top prize in this year's Careers Through Culinary Arts Program competition at Los Angeles Trade Technical College.
"My heart jumped from my chest to my throat," he said. "I was overwhelmed with joy."
Brow, in his first-ever competition, was the top chef in a field of 31 students from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Other Valley students who did well in the competition were Granada Hills junior Richard Pollack, 17, and Eileen Tubadeza, Adrian Neria and David Gonzalez, all 17, of Monroe High School in North Hills.
In the May 15 competition, the students were required to prepare poached chicken breast in chive butter sauce with poached vegetables. Dessert was crepes filled with pastry creme and garnished with chocolate sauce and strawberries.
"I knew what I had to do and basically did it," Brow said.
Sylvia Rieman, culinary arts chairwoman at Granada Hills, said Brow was impressive.
"His work is good," she said. "He's got presence, he carries himself well and he knows what he wants."