SPASH culinary students win People’s Choice Award


The Mirror reporter

Stevens Point Area High School students Emerick Zakrzewski, Emily Pumper, Salem Larson, and Mason Piotrowski recently won the People’s Choice Award for their chili entry at the Chili Cook-Off sponsored by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association at the Grand Meridian in Appleton, Wis.

Kelly Zywicki, a Culinary teacher at SPASH, helped coach these students to success. These four students each spent 40 hours planning, practicing, and prepping their winning chili recipe. The students worked alongside Chef Mike from Chef C’s Munchie Mobile and came up with this award-winning recipe. The students did two practice batches before completing the final chili recipe that brought them success.

The inspiration for their recipe was a spin on chili cheese fries. Their chili featured match sticks potatoes, and three alarm cheese from Feltz Family Farms and Dairy Store. Zywicki said that the recipe could “absolutely NOT” be revealed.

Zywicki said she was “beyond proud of their dedication and commitment to the team. They all worked so hard, we couldn’t ask for more than to be recognized in such a wonderful way.” Zywicki also said her students felt the same way. For their first time entering a cook-off “they were elated.”

All four of these culinary students clearly show their skills in the kitchen,  but only one plan’s to carry these skills into a career. Zywicki said, “Emeryck Zakzrewski plans to attend culinary school at Fox Valley Technical College in the fall.”