GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — One East View High School graduate can now call herself the top teen chef in the entire nation.
Claire OShoney was announced as first place in culinary arts Wednesday night by the Future Career and Community Leaders Association (FCCLA) with her teachers and community cheering her on.
According to the Georgetown Independent School District, OShoney’s dish won out of 150 high school students that went into the nationwide competition.
Before she went to nationals, she ranked first at both the regional and state level.
OShoney said she normally works with a team of chefs, but this year she was on her own.
“This year was just me by myself, which was a challenge, but challenges can always be overcome if you put your effort in, and it’s just an absolute dream to have gotten this far, especially in my senior year with all of the COVID things that have happened — it’s just a full-circle moment,” she said.
OShoney worked for two weeks, perfecting what would be her nationally-ranked dish: pan-roasted chicken breast with a velouté sauce, sautéed garlic green beans and creamy parmesan risotto — with a chocolate mousse to top it off.
She said was inspired by her fourth-grade teacher to start cooking and competing.
“It really sparked an interest in learning about other cultures’ cuisine, and I just knew from there that I was ready to do something more with that,” OShoney said.
Her current instructor, Chef Emily Jimenez, said she’s not surprised that OShoney came out on top.
“Claire has always been so tenacious and hard working. She came into class every day from the time she was a freshman, all the way to being a senior and gave it her best every single day,” Jimenez said.
And Jimenez said this could be a reality for any student, explaining that culinary arts programs are offered at public schools all over the country.
“One of the great things about this is these students are learning these amazing career-based skills, and Claire has really excelled in this,” Jimenez said.
For placing first, OShoney will get a scholarship to study culinary arts in New York. You can follow her to see what she’s cooking up on Instagram.