Testing their Mettle: Harlingen students heading to state after SkillsUSA wins

HARLINGEN — Alysa Gomez’s chef’s knife sliced easily through the potatoes as she prepared the dish she’d cooked so many times to prepare for competition.

Alysa, 17, was making braised chicken with a side of buttered parsley potatoes for the SkillsUSA Texas District 13 Leadership and Skills Conference. The Harlingen High School senior competed Feb. 13 in the culinary arts event with about six other students from throughout the Valley. She learned Saturday she’d advanced to the state competition April 1 and 2 in Corpus Christi.

She was thrilled to learn of her success.

“I thought it was pretty awesome,” she said. “I was competing against all guys.”

A majority of the events took place Feb. 19 and 20 at Texas State Technical College. However, the culinary arts, commercial baking and restaurant services events took place a week earlier at the Harlingen High School cafeteria. SkillsUSA advisors said there were so many events they couldn’t all be accommodated at the same place and time.

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