Pivoting LA C-CAP’s Cooking Competition for Scholarships

February 1, 2021

Students in a myriad of learning situations have gone virtual due to COVID protocol, but no student body has been hit as hard as those in high contact, hands-on curriculum. For the students of C-CAP, this has been especially challenging as underserved youth ages 14-24 are counting the C-CAP program to help provide them with the skills and knowledge which leads to sustainable livelihoods in the culinary and hospitality industries, and to create a path to success where they might not have imagined one before.

As part of our ongoing support to this vital program, the Flavor360 Solutions team has dedicated resources to this non-profit as they would with any paying client by evaluating the problems at hand and customizing our multimedia platform to solve them. First, we worked with the Southern California C-CAP management team to transform their paper forms to digital Knowledge Templates to enable students to use their mobile devices to capture the entire process of preparing for and executing a French Omelete per competition guidelines to be evaluated: work readiness and professionalism; workstation set-up and sanitation; and knife cuts and omelete preparation. Students will capture both photos and videos, creating a multimedia competition entry as if they were live with their instructors.

To begin, their training, students participated in a live, interactive virtual training session with Chef Danhi to review the knife cuts and the omelete preparation on which they would be judged. In his usual style, Chef Robert sprinkled in pertinent advice on culinary professionalism, the importance of sanitation and skill, and tips to ensure that students would not only learn the omelete, but also how to succeed in the industry above “just making it.” You can watch the training — including the students’ participation — here:

Next, to facilitate the training and competition during these difficult distance learning times, students downloaded the software and were trained by the Flavor360 and C-CAP LA team to use custom Knowledge Templates created to emulate the in-person judging process. Now in their hands, the Flavor360 platform provides students with maximum flexibility to take a week to complete and record themselves performing the knife skills and omelet tests in their home kitchens. Prior to the final competition, students will have a live Zoom Q & A session for guidance. Additionally, they will submit photos of their professional attire, cook station set-up, videos of performing knife cuts, and a video of making as well as evaluating the omelet. Finally, three judges dedicated to each student will review and give meaningful feedback directly on the students multimedia capture of their experience. All submissions will be further reviewed by a panel of 20 judges to determine how they performed. The C-CAP LA team will then match participants with various in-kind and cash scholarships that best suit each student’s post-secondary goals and their accomplishments in this competition. Every senior will be awarded a scholarship.

The impact of this process can be life-changing and transformatively effective for the students as the judges — from the comfort of their homes or professional environments — can take their time to review and comment on the videos and photos of each step of the students’ submissions, providing personal and culinary feedback on skills, presentation, and the final product itself. This interactive process creates a permanent record of the exchange between the student and their judge-mentors. Students can then digest and revisit the detailed advice from the judges, as well as observe their own work from a more objective perspective, thus increasing their ability to correct and affirm their experience to learn and grow into the professionals they dream of becoming.

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