Soup-er talented Tri-Tech student chefs compete in fall competition

In a battle of the soups, students don’t stew for long…they find out right away which team won this soup-making competition.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Fall is upon us, and what’s more fall than making a hot pot of soup? To celebrate the season upon us, some local apprentice chefs from Tri-Tech tested out their culinary expertise in a soup-making competition.

Tri-Tech Skills Center Culinary Arts students put their soup-preme soup-making skills in their annual fall soup competition.

Chef said one of the most important parts is the judges’ critiques.

“Just from talking to Chef from the years that I’ve done this, they really do take them to heart. And they wanna hear what customers like and what people are interested in,” said Lesley Rutz, a retired Tri-Tech teacher.

The soup is served, the judges get their portions and begin their taste-testing and the teams wait for the results.

“I overthink everything, so just doing that, I have so many thoughts. Did we cook the rice good? Was the sausage smoked enough? Was the seasoning spot on? It’s just all that going through my head,” said Vivian Pimentel, a student chef.

They don’t stew for long. The vote is quickly tallied up and Chef announces the winner.

This year, in the morning session of the soup-making competition, first-year students from the ‘Soup-erb’ Team 2 won. That team consists of Afton Stoker, Vivian Imentel, Robyn Pihlman and Rachel Eden.

“We had it under control. We were always ahead of time, instead of behind time,” said Afton Stoker.

READ: 5 soup recipes to try this fall

“The soup that we did, was Cajun red bean and rice,” Pimentel said.

The ingredients are beef sausage, rice, red beans, yellow onion, green bell pepper, celery and tomatoes.

“It was really, really good. It had a little bit of a spice to it, and it correlated to one of our teammate’s childhoods,” Stoker explained.

“I’m from Texas, so I kind of grew up with that in my backyard, so we just wanted to bring that in,” Pimentel said. It was her childhood that inspired the hearty soup.

A soup-erior combination, but I will say, all of the soups, chowders and broths were quality cuisine.

Rutz joined in on the judging for her 14th year in a row.

“It’s been amazing because I always think they can’t outdo themselves, and they just do.”

There was a tough, but soup-portive audience of judges made up of current and former teachers, Tri-Tech’s principal and more.

This was one of two soup-making sessions that took place Friday.