Lauren Carter ’15, David Free ’15 and Michael Dallaire ’17 entered the test kitchen at Marriott, Inc. headquarters in Bethesda, MD not knowing what to expect. The trio from Archbishop Williams gathered with three other high schools from around the country to compete in Campus Kitchen’s Pizza Cookoff.
After nearly three hours of slicing, dicing, kneading, topping and baking on camera, the AWHS team presented their pesto and pepper pizza to a panel of four judges and won the “Best Pizza Award.”
“The competition was intense,” said Free, a Quincy native. “We were in a professional kitchen competing against other schools. It was like the show Chopped you see on TV.”
Free and Carter recently participated in an Archbishop Williams Campus Ministry sponsored service project where they made sandwiches for Father Bill’s Place, a homeless shelter in Quincy.
“We just did the service project for Father Bill's and thought the cook-off was a good idea to continue giving to the poor,” said Carter.
Marriott, Inc. donated all the food used in the competition in addition to letting the Campus Kitchens Project use its test kitchen. The CKP is a national leader in community service for students that focuses on hunger relief. They partner with high schools, colleges and universities to share on-campus kitchen space, recover food from cafeterias and engage students as volunteers who prepare and deliver meals to the community.
All teams in the competition were required to cook a unique meal pizza, salad and a dessert pizza. In addition to the food prepared for the judges, each team baked five additional meal pizzas to be donated to Bethesda Care, a local nursing home.
“This is really the first thing I’ve done like this. I’m really happy I got to participate,” said Free. “Campus Kitchen has a really great mission.”
Archbishop Williams campus minister Carol O’Brien, who started the school’s involvement with Campus Kitchens, chaperoned the competition. She also provided the students with the winning pizza recipe.
“Campus Kitchens were very supportive of us. We were really excited to participate in the competition," said O’Brien. “The experience was very rewarding for our students. Any time we can give them the opportunity to develop a new skill or see life in other places it's great.”