SPC Welcomes Salsa Scholarship Competition Teams

October 1, 2018

Public Information Officer


The lineup is confirmed for high schools participating in the free 2018 St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition, a one-hour judged salsa specialty food contest where the prizes are scholarships to a world-class culinary school for two-person teams of local high school student chefs. 

Now it’s time for the public to taste-and-vote for their favorite salsa.

The 11 competing teams for 2018 are from Edison, Memorial, South San, East Central, Poteet, Madison, O’Conner, LaVernia, Southside, Alamo Heights, Samuel Clemens and Taft high schools, confirmed event organizer Frances Rocha, a culinary services coordinator at the college who tracks team status. Rounding out the college’s Hispanic Heritage Month calendar, the 11-team competition takes place Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. in Room 202 of the college’s Turbon Student Center at 1801 Martin Luther King Drive.

In 2018, Brandies came in first at the Turbon, followed by crafty Taft.

By placing twice in 2017---second and people’s choice---defending 2016 and 2017 second place winner Taft established a record for most scholarship money awarded per student in 2017, “a cool $1,000 today,” college faculty member Chef Patrick Costello announced from the contest podium in 2017. 

“One of the Taft student chefs was really interested in attending St. Philip’s College, so it really worked out in his favor. Future students, that’s what it was about,” Rocha said in 2017.

All are welcome to taste-test during the free St. Philip’s College Best Tasting Salsa Scholarship Competition. The 22 competing chefs are both high school seniors and they are interested in attending St. Philip’s College. The food is from a region where both family and commercial traditions of salsa making extend centuries deep, and new generations create the authentic salsas of the future during the contest. The college’s event is education oriented, open to all and features a mix of college and local chefs as judges. All salsas are entirely prepared in labs at the St. Philip’s College campus on competition day, and students must be in competitive condition---with no distractions---to produce the excellence expected by judges, chef coaches and foodies, said Rocha. Scholarship announcements are made for each team member finishing in the first ($500), second ($500), third ($500) and people’s choice ($500) categories. The public is welcome to visit, taste, cast People’s Choice votes and meet the chefs. According to Rocha, at least three contest alumni are current students at the college, although she declined to identify the contest alumni.

For details on the contest, contact Rocha at 210-486–2318, frocha@alamo.edu.

About the St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department: The St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department provides five primary programs along with one full-time faculty member and multiple adjunct faculty members to work directly with students in each area. All five programs involve students in classroom-based learning experiences, as well as lab experience, and work-based learning during a practicum course. The culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and restaurant management programs have been acknowledged with an Exemplary rating from the American Culinary Federation Foundation Accrediting Commission. St. Philip’s College is one of only 25 schools worldwide with the commission’s Exemplary status and is rated Exemplary by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The 110-year-old St. Philip’s College hospitality professions programs typically graduate 100 students annually, and expansion is expected this decade when the college opens its $30 million Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence building funded as part of a $450 million bond package approved by voters in May 2017 to both construct new Alamo College District facilities and renovate existing college buildings. Students graduating from the management programs: Hotel Management, Hospitality Management, and Restaurant Management are eligible to receive Certified Hospitality Graduate (CHG) certifications from the Accrediting Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration™. Culinary Arts and Baking and Pastry Arts students are eligible for Certification by the American Culinary Federation. The CHG is an industry-recognized professional certification that has been granted to only three hospitality programs in the state of Texas and only one program in the college’s service area. For information on registration in the college’s program, contact the department staff at 210-486-2315 or book reservations with the staff of the college’s student-operated restaurant by calling 210-486-2328.