Culinary Arts students host first Food Festival

BY Amanda Sotelo

It was a full house at the Texas State Technical College Culinary Art’s first Food Festival. More than 50 people gathered at the TSTC Cultural Arts building to taste and experience cuisines from across the globe.

“I’m so impressed with what our students did here today and how they handled the crowd,” said Chef Emma Crepps, culinary arts department chair and instructor. “We didn’t expect to have this many people. The main objective was to help students learn how to showcase their food, and today’s event has made that possible.”

The food festival consisted of 14 teams made up of culinary art students who prepped and cooked dishes based on their chosen location. There were more than 40 items that attendees were able to sample. Everything from Peruvian, Indian to French and German cuisine was available.

TSTC Culinary Arts advisory board member and owner and chef of Rio Grande Grill Stefani Trimboli-Wright said she was impressed with what students had to offer.

“I make it my responsibility to get involved with these students. This is my hometown and we have a great culinary program here,” said Wright. “I’m impressed so far with a few students here and although I’ve only been able to hire one to help me with restaurant events, I can’t wait to hire and work with so many more.”

Wright called this event a perfect opportunity for the students to showcase their talents and for potential employers to see who stands out and who has real passion to take their career and food to the next level.

One team definitely made an impression with their German cuisine. Winning the People’s Choice Award, team leader Marianne Sanchez and her team Mike Meriwether and Nicolas Perez, earned the most votes from attendees to take home the medal. What did they cook?

“This win for our team today, is actually a win for all us,” said Sanchez. “I’m proud to accept this award for our team and for TSTC. Everything was well executed and all of our instructors are here today making sure we succeed while getting the experience we need.”

From Harlingen High School culinary students to Winter Texans, the feedback was positive and the food was enjoyed.

“This event was a great success,” said Crepps. “A lot of people have already approached me and asked if we’re going to do this again. This was amazing.”

For more information on Culinary Arts call 956-364-4755.

Culinary Arts is also available at our Abilene, Waco and Williamson County campuses. Registration starts April 4, apply online anytime at