Ten high school seniors from across Utah competed in The Art Institute of Salt Lake City’s (AiSLC) annual Best Teen Chef Competition and after the judging panel sliced and diced the scores, Jake Nelson from Park City High School was declared the competition’s winner.

Nelson received a $3,000 tuition scholarship to AiSLC and advances to The Art Institute’s Best Teen Chef Competition finals in Houston, Texas on May 15, 2010 where he will compete for a full-tuition scholarship to The Art Institute against 30 other finalists from across the United States and Canada. Corinne King from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City finished second and received a $2,000 scholarship to AiSLC, while Gabriella Munoz from Cyprus High School in Magna finished third and received a $1,000 scholarship.

“Utah high schools are full of talented and ambitious chefs and every year I’m impressed with the skill and ability displayed by our finalists. This year was no exception,” said Frank Krause, culinary arts academic director for AiSLC’s International Culinary School. “While this competition has given them a taste of what The Art Institute is like, I hope all our participants leave inspired to pursue their culinary passion and studies after high school.”

All ten local competitors prepared the same menu, shrimp cocktail, sautéed breast of chicken, fresh broccoli and rice pilaf. Each finalist was evaluated by a judging panel on presentation, creativity, organization, timing, flavor, seasoning and texture. All aspects of the evaluation are critical elements to becoming a skilled chef.

In addition to a full-tuition scholarship and the title of Best Teen Chef 2010, the national competition first place winner will be an “Intern for a Day” at the Food Network Kitchen in New York City, complete with a studio tour, dinner for two at a Food Network chef’s restaurant, a library of Food Network Kitchen cookbooks.

For more information about AiSLC, or the Best Teen Chef Competition, visit www.artinstitute.edu/saltlakecity.