America’s Best HS Chef winners

Dean Frank Costantino (Center back row) with Yocari Luna and Laura Sanchez next to him and the rest of America’s Best High School Chef winners.

Photo by Gary Axelbank
Photo by Gary Axelbank

On Saturday, March 3, 31 high school students from throughout the N.Y. Metro area competed for the distinguished titles of America’s Best High School Chef and Pastry Chef in the fourth annual competition sponsored by the Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts.

The prizes were academic scholarships to attend Monroe College. First place prize was a full academic scholarship to the Monroe College School of Hospitality Management, second and third place prizes were partial academic scholarships worth $3,500 and $2,500, and prizes for all competitors were partial academic scholarships worth $1,500. Monroe awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to the contestants.

Yocary Luna of Food and Finance HS in Manhattan was crowned America’s Best HS Chef for her Stuffed Chicken – Teriyaki Style with sauté fingerling potatoes and string beans.

Laura Sanchez of Passaic County Technical High School, Passaic, NJ was named America’s Best HS Pastry Chef with her White Coating Chocolate Raspberry Tower, consisting of double-chocolate chip brownies filled with cannoli cream and sided with French vanilla ice cream.

“I was impressed with all of the entrants, not just the winners,” said Dr. Frank Costantino, dean of the School of Hospitality Management and the Culinary Arts. “They have bright futures in culinary. It’s interesting to note that the students who are currently among the leaders on the Monroe College Culinary teams are former winners of this competition.”

Here’s a list of the winners:

America’s Best High School Chef

First place – Yocary Luna, Food & Finance High School, NYC

Second place – Nashali Rivera, Food & Finance High School, NYC

Third place (tie) – Rossella Cangialosi, East Meadow High School, L.I., N.Y.

Rondy Mendoza, Truman High School, Bronx, N.Y.

America’s Best High School Pastry Chef

First place – Laura Sanchez, Passaic County Technical High School, Passaic, NJ

Second place – Chelsea Taylor, Frankford High School, Philadelphia, PA

Third place (tie) – Mikea Rivers, Frankford High School, Philadelphia, PA

Laura Szanto, Paul D. Schreiber High School, Port Washington, N.Y.

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