EMCC at Lion Hills hosts ‘Chopped’ for culinary students in GT area

GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – East Mississippi Community College at Lion Hills hosted its version of the TV show Chopped for culinary students in the Golden Triangle.

“They receive a basket of ingredients,” said Chef Jakiero Dismuke. “They have to make an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert in 20 minutes.”

Students learned the necessary skills to be successful in the program such as kitchen lingo, working under pressure, and the basics of safety and sanitation.

Dismuke has had a passion for culinary arts since he was five years old. Which is why he wanted to inspire younger generations who share that passion. Those budding chefs all seem to have a common ingredient; inspiration from their loved ones.

“My mom, she goes in the kitchen a lot cooking all the new things so I kind of want to inspire her a little bit,” said Alayla Edwards of West Point.

“I grew up in the kitchen with my grandmother,” said Jayna Barksdale of Lowndes County.

“My granddaddy told me I needed to learn how to cook for my husband and my kids,” said Shamaya Hammond of West Point.

“I’ve been cooking with my dad since I was young,” said Lowndes County’s David Akwaowl.

“It’s crazy, It’s like fate brought me here,” said West Points Devin Strong.

Dismuke said at the end of it all, they are learning the basic skills to be successful in the workforce.

“Many people think you have to go to culinary school to have a job in the restaurant industry, but if you have the necessary skills and knowledge, you can go into the restaurant and work your way up to be a top chef,” Dismuke said.

Adrienne Morris of Mississippi State’s Aramark said the culinary programs are feeding a need throughout the industry.

“This group, they are the future of culinary,” Morris said. “We have to make sure we’re investing in the interested students. Because they’re the next generation of chefs, of managers, of restaurant owners to come through. So, definitely want to encourage them to continue to pursue culinary arts.”

An awards luncheon will be held on November 11 at the Lion Hills Center and Golf Course building at 10:30 a.m.

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