Westside HS culinary students add flavor to Super Bowl

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Westside High School culinary students have prepared two touchdown-worthy sandwich recipes, one of which will be featured in the concession stands at Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium.

Dominique Jackson, Michelle Meadows, and Vivian Romero presented two sandwiches – a Fajita Beef Banh Mi and a Chicken Fried Steak sandwich – that were both inspired by Houston’s melting pot of diversity and Southern roots. The sandwiches also included side dishes, which all were taste-tested by NRG Stadium representatives who evaluated the sandwich-and-side combos last week.

The Fajita Beef Banh Mi mixes Hispanic and Vietnamese cultures and contains grilled seasoned fajitas with a creamy avocado spread and julienned pickled vegetables, accompanied by spicy Mexican salsa as a side dish.

The Chicken Fried Steak sandwich is a straight Southern approach to a Texas favorite, topped with cheese gravy, green beans, and bacon with a side dish of potato croquette, coated with the sandwich’s own cheese sauce.

The panel of judges, comprised of NRG and Aramark officials will choose one of the two dishes presented and will unveil their selection on Jan. 24 during Super Bowl media day.

Chef O’Brien Tingling, one of the judges at NRG, complimented the Westside High School students on their passion shown in making and describing their dishes.

“You did a really great job,” Tingling said. “The backgrounds and the flavors truly came together.”

The student chefs have been working extra hours after class perfecting their recipes to ensure their dishes are fulfilling and flavorful. Westside High School Chef Instructors Curtis Bell and Robert Holloway, along with HISD Nutrition Services Chef, Tom Valdivieso, have been guiding the team of students.

“This is an awesome occasion for our student chefs to show what they are capable of and to represent Houston,” said HISD Nutrition Services Senior Administrator Audene Chung. “The fans will really enjoy what our students have created for the Super Bowl.”

The Westside Culinary Team is no stranger to the pressure of competition, as this will be their second performance on the national stage. They were runners up in the National Cooking Up Change competition held in Washington, D.C., in June 2016 and feel very confident in the recipes they presented.

To vote on which sandwich think should be served on game day, visit https://twitter.com/HISDNutri.