11 Area High Schools Participate in 12th Annual Best Tasting Salsa Competition

October 7, 2019

Alexa Saavedra, Strategic Communications Coordinator


11 Area High Schools Participate in St. Philip’s College 12th Annual Best Tasting Salsa Competition  

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, St. Philip’s College Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department hosted 11 local high schools in the 12th Annual Best Tasting Salsa Competition on October 2 in the Watson Fine Arts Center, Morgan Gallery. Originality, creativity, presentation, taste, and texture were among the categories judged by culinary experts from Fusion Catering, Chef John Catering and Alamo Area Hospitality Association. Additionally, the public was invited to taste the student’s creations and cast People’s Choice votes.

The education-oriented event serves as an opportunity to motivate students interested in culinary fields to be creative and engaged. “The competition builds confidence in our students, they have more energy, they want to be involved more and it teaches them how to communicate better with people,” said Chef John Tamez, MacArthur High School Culinary Professor & St. Philip’s College Alumnus. 

The 2019 participating teams included students from 11 local high schools: Southside, MacArthur, Poteet, Madison, South San, Clemens, Harlan, Smithson Valley, Lytle, O’Connor and Taft. 

All salsas were prepared entirely in labs at the St. Philip’s College campus on competition day, where students were judged separately in kitchen sanitation and knife skills. 

“We want our professor to be proud… also being Latina and coming from Mexican ancestors motivates me to make my family proud,” said MacArthur Senior Mia Feliciano who plans on enrolling in the St. Philip’s College Culinary Program after graduating.

After starting the competition in 2007 “we’ve seen many students who compete come back and continue their education with our program,” said St. Philip’s College Culinary Services Coordinator, Frances Rocha adding that “many of our past students come back as professors of the schools participating."

This year, Madison broke the tie for first place to Lytle after exceptional kitchen sanitary and knife skills scores, leaving Lytle in second place. Mia Feliciano and her partner Rhyan Chavarria-Paniagua celebrated as MacArthur was awarded third place. South San’s salsa won the public with People’s Choice. 

The Best Tasting Salsa Competition in one of many events celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Months. For a list of events visit www.alamo.edu/spc/HHM/.

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